Down-regulation of photosynthesis flowing girdling, but contrasting effects of fruit set and retention, in two sweet cherry cultivars
Quentin, AG and Close, DC and Hennen, LMHP and Pinkard, E, Down-regulation of photosynthesis flowing girdling, but contrasting effects of fruit set and retention, in two sweet cherry cultivars, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 73 pp. 359-367. ISSN 0981-9428 (2013) [Refereed Article]
Sweet cherry (Prunus avium) trees were manipulated to analyse the contribution of soluble sugars to sink feedback down-regulation of leaf net CO2 assimilation rate (Anet) and fruit set and quality attributes. Total soluble sugar concentration and Anet were measured in the morning on fully expanded leaves of girdled branches in two sweet cherry cultivars, ‘Kordia’ and ‘Sylvia’ characterised typically by low and high crop load, respectively. Leaves on girdled trees had higher soluble sugar concentrations and reduced Anet than leaves on non-girdled trees. Moreover, RuBP carboxylation capacity of Rubisco (Vcmax) and triose-phosphate utilisation (TPU) were repressed in the girdled treatments, despite Jmax remaining unchanged; suggesting an impairment of photosynthetic capacity in response to the girdling treatment. Leaf Anet was negatively correlated to soluble sugars, suggesting a sink feedback regulatory control of photosynthesis. Although there were significantly less fruit set and retained in ‘Kordia’ than ‘Sylvia’; girdling had contrasting effects in each cultivar. Girdling significantly increased fruit set and fruitlet retention in ‘Sylvia’ cultivar, but had no effect in ‘Kordia’ cultivar. We propose that low inherent sink demand for photoassimilates of ‘Kordia’ fruit could have contributed to the low fruit retention rate, since both non-girdled and girdled trees exhibited similar retention rate and that increases in foliar carbohydrates was observed above the girdle. In ‘Sylvia’ cultivar, the carbohydrate status may be a limiting factor for ‘Sylvia’ fruit, since girdling improved both fruit set and retention, and leaf soluble solids accumulation.
Prunus avium, photosynthetic capacity, soluble sugars, sink feedback, fruit set and retention, sink demand