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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Geneva, New York » Plant Genetic Resources Unit (PGRU) » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335211

Research Project: Breeding Apple Rootstocks Tolerant to Abiotic Stresses and Resistant to Pests and Diseases

Location: Plant Genetic Resources Unit (PGRU)

Title: Honeycrisp Apple Fruit Nutrient Concentration Affected By Apple Rootstocks

Author
item Fazio, Gennaro
item CHENG, LAILIANG - Cornell University - New York
item FRANCESCATTO, POLIANA - Cornell University - New York
item LORDAN, JAUME - Cornell University - New York
item WALLIS, ANNA - Cornell University - New York
item Grusak, Michael
item ROBINSON, TERENCE - Cornell University - New York

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2018
Publication Date: 12/10/2018
Citation: Fazio, G., Cheng, L., Francescatto, P., Lordan, J., Wallis, A., Grusak, M.A., Robinson, T. 2018. Honeycrisp Apple Fruit Nutrient Concentration Affected By Apple Rootstocks. Acta Horticulturae. 1228, 223-228. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1228.33.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1228.33

Interpretive Summary: Rootstocks (the root systems of apple trees) provide mineral nutrition for the whole tree. Different rootstocks have the ability to modify the levels of nutrients in leaves and fruit of apple trees. Honeycrisp apples are susceptible to mineral nutrient-related fruit disorders, such as bitter pit, where the lack of enough calcium or an imbalance between calcium and potassium in fruit causes pitting of the fruit. We utilized a well-established apple rootstock field trial in the Champlain Valley, NY, USA with 40 rootstocks (including B.9, M.9 and G.41 as controls) to determine the effects of rootstock genotypes on mineral nutrient concentrations in mature leaves and immature fruit. Positive relationships were found for calcium, magnesium, zinc, and manganese in both leaves and fruit, suggesting that rootstocks conferring higher values in one also have positive effects on the rest, perhaps fueled by physiological commonalities for uptake and translocation. Honeycrisp fruit calcium values were positively correlated with sulfur concentration. Rootstocks that promoted higher zinc in leaves seemed to have less fruit calcium in general, while fruit zinc was positively correlated with fruit calcium. Certain rootstocks (CG.6976, CG.4002, CG.4814, G.16, G.214 and M.7) enabled Honeycrisp to achieve significantly higher levels of calcium in both leaves and fruit in this trial. M.9 was very poor for fruit calcium while G.41 (CG.3041) was closer to median values. Our data indicate that it may be possible to breed apple rootstocks to deliver unique nutrient profiles to grafted scions.

Technical Abstract: Honeycrisp apples are susceptible to mineral nutrient-related fruit disorders, such as bitter pit. We utilized a well-established apple rootstock field trial in the Champlain Valley, NY, USA with 40 rootstocks (including B.9, M.9 and G.41 as controls) to determine the effects of rootstock genotypes on mineral nutrient concentrations in mature leaves and immature fruit. Positive relationships were found for calcium, magnesium, zinc, and manganese in both leaves and fruit, suggesting that rootstocks conferring higher values in one also have positive effects on the rest, perhaps fueled by physiological commonalities for uptake and translocation. Honeycrisp fruit calcium values were positively correlated with sulfur concentration. Rootstocks that promoted higher zinc in leaves seemed to have less fruit calcium in general, while fruit zinc was positively correlated with fruit calcium. Certain rootstocks (CG.6976, CG.4002, CG.4814, G.16, G.214 and M.7) enabled Honeycrisp to achieve significantly higher levels of Ca in both leaves and fruit in this trial. M.9 was very poor for fruit calcium while G.41 (CG.3041) was closer to median values. Our data indicate that it may be possible to breed apple rootstocks to deliver unique nutrient profiles to grafted scions.