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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PECAN CULTIVATION AND DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Location: Fruit and Nut Research

Title: Managing vivipary in pecan

Author
item Wood, Bruce

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 10, 2012
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Citation: Wood, B.W. 2012. Managing vivipary in pecan. ASHS Annual Conference. p.70.

Interpretive Summary: Crop loss due to vivipary (i.e., premature germination of nuts while still on the tree) is a major profit-limiting problem for certain pecan (Carya illinoinensis) farming operations in certain years. There is need to better understand the cause of vivipary and for orchard management tools and strategies enabling better control over the incidence of vivipary. It was found that vivipary is influenced by nitrogen fertilization and irrigation practices, presumably via their influence on production of a germination inhibitor in ripening fruit. This work provides the basis for modifying nitrogen and water management strategies to enable farmers better control over crop loss due to vivipary.

Technical Abstract: Crop loss due to vivipary (i.e., premature germination of nuts) is a major profit-limiting problem for certain pecan (Carya illinoinensis) farming operations. There is need for orchard management tools and strategies enabling better control over the incidence of vivipary. Field research assessing the influence of irrigation and nitrogen (N) management, and certain bioregulators {i.e., fluridone [an inhibitor of abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis] and ABA} exposure on incidence of vivipary, found that the incidence of vivipary can be influenced by any one of these factors. In ‘Cheyenne’, that relatively high soil moisture and high plant N concentration during mid- and late-summer increases the incidence of vivipary. In ‘Sumner’, fruit exposure to fluridone during development triggers earlier germination than non-treated fruit; and in ‘Oconee’ treatment of developing fruit with either fluridone increases vivipary and ABA treatment decreases vivipary. This indicates that crop loss to vivipary can be reduced by altering water and N management strategies so that trees experience some degree of water stress and are not excessively N fertilized during the mid- to late-stages of fruit development. There is also the possibility of regulating vivipary via timely use of certain plant bioregulators.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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