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  • Author or Editor: Gregory L. Powell x
  • HortScience x
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Graft-transmissible agents found in `Ta Tao 5' peach have been associated with phenological changes, including delay in bloom, reduced shoot vigor, and early autumn defoliation. Peach Latent Mosaic Viroid (PLMVd) is present as a graft-transmissible agent in `Ta Tao 5'. In order to further characterize the changes occurring in trees exposed to PLMVd from `Ta Tao 5' grafts, total fatty acid content was measured for peach buds during chilling accumulation and release from dormancy in `Coronet' peach trees and `Coronet' trees treated with `Ta Tao 5' bud grafts. Palmitic (16:0), stearic (18:0), oleic (18:1), linoleic (18:2), and linolenic (18:3) acids were the major fatty acids in dormant and releasing peach buds of both the controls and treated trees. The degree of unsaturation increased immediately following completion of chilling requirement in both the untreated controls and in the treated trees. However, the desaturation of linoleic acid to linolenic acid was significantly inhibited in the trees treated with `Ta Tao 5' bud grafts, which was accompanied by a concomitant delay in the resumption of growth. The disparity between the control and treated trees in the trend toward increased fatty acid unsaturation continued through the resumption of growth. The changes in degree of fatty acid saturation correlated with a response to forcing conditions and the release from dormancy. The presence of PLMVd in `Coronet' peach trees affects membrane fatty acid saturation during chilling accumulation and dormancy release. These findings suggest that metabolic pathways involving fatty acid desaturation are linked to the phenotypic variation in trees exposed to PLMVd.

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