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Yong-Ping Gao, Hino Motosugi, and Akira Sugiura

Ungrafted trees of seven apple rootstock cultivars, M.4, M.7, M.11, M.26, M.27, MM.106, and Maru. bakaidou (Malus prunifolia Borkh. var. ringo Asami; weeping type), and `Fuji' (Malus domestics Borkh.) trees grafted on these seven plus M.9 and M. 16 rootstock were grown in sand. They were regularly supplied with nutrient solutions of N as ammonium alone (A), nitrate alone (T), and both (AT). With both ungrafted and grafted trees, the shoot growth of six rootstock (M.11, M.4, M.7, MM.106, M.26, and M.27) was significantly less with A than with T. With `Fuji' trees grafted on the above six rootstock, the number of flowering buds and the ratios of flowering buds to total emerged buds were significantly enhanced by treatments A and AT, especially in the formation of axillary flowering buds. Flowering and shoot growth of `Fuji' trees grafted on M. prunifolia and M.16 were slightly affected by the form of supplied N. In the xylem sap, cytokinin-like activity was detected in a single zone in paper chromatography in all rootstock and `Fuji' trees. The activity in six ungrafted rootstock (M.4, M.7, M.11, M.26, M.27, and MM.106) and `Fuji' trees grafted on these plus M.9 rootstock were higher with A than with T. Gibberellin-like activity in the same sap was detected in two zones, Rfs 0.3 to 0.4 and Rfs 0.7 to 0.8 in paper chromatography. In the six ungrafted rootstock and in `Fuji' trees grafted on these plus M.9, A led to higher activity at Rfs 0.7 to 0.S, but T led to higher activity at Rfs 0.3 to 0.4. Cytokinin-like and gibberellin-like activities in ungrafted M. prunfolia and `Fuji' trees grafted on M. prunifolia or M.16 were not affected by the form of N.

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Hisayo Yamane, Megumi Ichiki, Ryutaro Tao, Tomoya Esumi, Keizo Yonemori, Takeshi Niikawa, and Hino Motosugi

Fruit size is one of the most important traits that affect the economic value of fruit. In persimmon (Diospyros kaki Thunb.), somatic and bud-sport mutations that affect the fruit traits are frequently observed. Recently, a small-fruit mutant, ‘Totsutanenashi’ (TTN), was discovered in Japan as a bud-sport mutant of the leading cultivar Hiratanenashi (HTN). In this study, we investigated the morphological and physiological characteristics of TTN and HTN focusing on the tree architecture, fruit size, and the fruit flesh chemical composition. The objectives of the study were to evaluate the potential horticultural use of TTN and to characterize the differences between HTN and TTN. Both TTN and HTN are nonaploid plants, indicating that a difference in ploidy is not the cause of the small-fruit mutation. The vegetative growth of trees and tissue-cultured shoots of TTN was more compact than that of HTN. The floral organs of TTN appeared similar to those of HTN before flowering, but the TTN flowers opened earlier, resulting in smaller ovaries than in HTN flowers. The fruit size of TTN was consistently lower than that of HTN at all fruit developmental stages. TTN fruit had a higher sugar content and a higher proportion of sucrose to total sugars than HTN fruit. TTN fruits contained lower levels of secondary metabolites such as soluble tannins and ascorbate than HTN fruits. These results suggest that the fruit size mutation also affects the fruit biochemistry, leading to alterations in the fruit flesh composition. TTN may be a valuable genetic resource because compact trees require less labor and maintenance, and small, sweeter fruits may meet the various needs of consumers. The use of TTN in studies of the genetic control of fruit size is also discussed.