Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #313473

Title: Prunus rootstocks influence stem water potential, C/N ratio and shoot ash content in peach

item MAYER, NEWTON - Embrapa Clima Temperado
item REIGHARD, GREGORY - Clemson University
item BRIDGES, WILLIAM - Clemson University
item Glenn, David

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/18/2013
Publication Date: 1/8/2014
Citation: Mayer, N.A., Reighard, G., Bridges, W., Glenn, D.M. 2014. Prunus rootstocks influence stem water potential, C/N ratio and shoot ash content in peach. Acta Horticulturae. 1058:365-373.

Interpretive Summary: Fruit trees are generally a grafted combination of a scion or the above ground portion and a rootstock. The rootstock can affect many characteristics of the scion such as growth, branching and susceptibility to water stress. The purpose of this study was to determine if a measure of the trees’ water status (SWp) during the growing season was correlated with its accumulation of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) or minerals (ash). ‘Redhaven’ scion was grafted on to 27 different rootstocks and the trees were planted in the field. SWp measurements were made during the growing season and correlated with C, N, C/N and ash from tissue collected at the end of the growing season. SWp values were not correlated with C, N, C/N and ash. Ash was correlated with C/N. We were unsuccessful in identifying a simple water stress measurement (SWp) that correlated with other growth parameters.

Technical Abstract: Many peach rootstocks have been released in recent years with limited information about their physiological effects on scion vigor and productivity. In this study, two trials were established with ‘Redhaven’ on 9 (planted 2006) and 18 (planted 2009) rootstock cultivars at the Musser Fruit Research Center, Seneca, South Carolina. A stem water potential (SWp) curve was developed with a Scholander pressure bomb on a single day ~ 6 weeks after harvest (August, 2011) with hourly evaluations between 5 am and 8 pm on a ‘Redhaven’/Lovell tree. For each trial, SWp readings were done before dawn and in the afternoon (approximately 4 pm). The maximum negative SWp occurred at approximately 4 pm. Carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and ash content analyses were done on 1-year-old shoots at the beginning of dormancy in November, 2011. Rootstocks influenced all variables studied in both trials. Trees that were more stressed (high negative SWp) before dawn were also more stressed in the afternoon (i.e., rootstocks Prunus munsoniana and Empyrean®3). A similar pattern was observed for those trees/rootstocks with less negative SWp (i.e, Prunus americana, Fortuna and KV010127) in the predawn hours as they also remained less negative in the afternoon. There was no correlation between SWp and C, N, C/N ratio or shoot ash content. There were negative correlations between C/N ratio and ash content and the N and C/N ratio. There was a positive correlation between N and ash content. These data suggested that SWp was not a reliable method to predict C, N or ash content accumulation in 1-year-old peach shoots from trees grown on many different rootstock genotypes.