This study investigates the effects of shading on the biophysical mechanisms of apple (Malus Domestica Bork.) fruit growth by assessing how vascular and transpiration flows to/from the fruit are affected by shading. At 30 days after full bloom, a 90% neutral shading net was applied to four trees of the cv. Gala, for seven days, while four more trees, chemically thinned, were used as control. Fruit vascular and transpiration flows were assessed from two days before, to the end of shading. The daily patterns of fruit relative growth rate (RGR) and of phloem, xylem and transpiration flows were determined by continuous monitoring of fruit diameter by automatic fruit gauges. Before shading application, no differences between the two groups of trees selected were found for any of the parameters measured. Despite shading induced an immediate drop in canopy photosynthesis, both fruit daily RGR and phloem flow decreased gradually, until reaching 20% of the before treatment values after 7 days of shading. Differences in RGR and phloem flow appeared especially during the afternoon and night, i.e. post carbon assimilation by the tree, and fruit growth rates were higher in control trees. In the same period no, or very small differences were found between treatments for transpiration rates, while xylem flow was affected later than phloem and only at specific times during the day. These results suggest that the decrease in fruit growth rate under shading should be attributed to the reduction of canopy photosynthesis, rather than to a direct effect of shading on fruit sink strength.

Shading decreases the growth rate of young apple fruit by reducing their phloem import

LOSCIALE, PASQUALE;
2011

Abstract

This study investigates the effects of shading on the biophysical mechanisms of apple (Malus Domestica Bork.) fruit growth by assessing how vascular and transpiration flows to/from the fruit are affected by shading. At 30 days after full bloom, a 90% neutral shading net was applied to four trees of the cv. Gala, for seven days, while four more trees, chemically thinned, were used as control. Fruit vascular and transpiration flows were assessed from two days before, to the end of shading. The daily patterns of fruit relative growth rate (RGR) and of phloem, xylem and transpiration flows were determined by continuous monitoring of fruit diameter by automatic fruit gauges. Before shading application, no differences between the two groups of trees selected were found for any of the parameters measured. Despite shading induced an immediate drop in canopy photosynthesis, both fruit daily RGR and phloem flow decreased gradually, until reaching 20% of the before treatment values after 7 days of shading. Differences in RGR and phloem flow appeared especially during the afternoon and night, i.e. post carbon assimilation by the tree, and fruit growth rates were higher in control trees. In the same period no, or very small differences were found between treatments for transpiration rates, while xylem flow was affected later than phloem and only at specific times during the day. These results suggest that the decrease in fruit growth rate under shading should be attributed to the reduction of canopy photosynthesis, rather than to a direct effect of shading on fruit sink strength.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/239468
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