21 June 2024
Apple Preharvest Drop Not Tied to Xylem

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Apple preharvest fruit drop is not directly indicated by xylem functionality, according to a new study. Harvesting apple (Malus × domestica) fruit at optimal horticultural maturity is critical to meeting consumer preferences and to maintain quality throughout storage. Management during harvest is complicated by uneven ripening, overlapping maturity of cultivars, and lack of labor availability.

Apple Preharvest Fruit Drop: Investigating the Role of Xylem Functionality



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Apples are a delicious and nutritious fruit enjoyed by people of all ages. However, apple growers face a significant challenge: preharvest fruit drop (PFD), which can lead to substantial economic losses. In this article, we’ll delve into the recent study published in the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, which investigated the relationship between xylem functionality and PFD in apple trees.

Understanding Apple Preharvest Fruit Drop

Preharvest fruit drop is a natural process that occurs when apples fall from the tree before they are fully ripe. This can be caused by various factors, including environmental stresses, pests, diseases, and hormonal imbalances. PFD can lead to significant yield loss, reducing the profitability of apple production.

Xylem Functionality and Apple Preharvest Fruit Drop

Xylem is a tissue in plants that transports water and nutrients from the roots to the leaves. It is made up of specialized cells called xylem vessels, which are hollow and allow for the efficient movement of fluids. Some researchers believe that the loss of xylem functionality may be a contributing factor to PFD. The hypothesis is that as xylem vessels break down, the supply of water and nutrients to the fruit is disrupted, leading to premature abscission.

The Study’s Findings on Apple Preharvest Fruit Drop and Xylem Functionality

The study conducted by Larson et al. aimed to investigate whether xylem functionality could be used as an indicator of PFD potential in apple trees. The researchers applied different plant bioregulators to “Red Delicious” apple trees to induce a range of PFD potentials. They then measured xylem functionality, internal ethylene content (IEC), fruit maturity indices, and PFD rates throughout the harvest period.

The results showed that treatments that effectively limited PFD did not consistently maintain higher xylem functionality than treatments with substantial PFD. Additionally, the loss of xylem functionality was not coincident with cell wall hydrolysis in the fruit pedicel, the small stalk that attaches the fruit to the tree.

Implications for Apple Growers: Managing Apple Preharvest Fruit Drop

The findings of this study suggest that xylem functionality is not a direct indicator of PFD in apple trees. This means that growers cannot rely on xylem functionality alone to assess the susceptibility of their fruit to PFD. Instead, they need to consider other factors, such as IEC and the expression of cell-wall disassembly genes, to predict fruit drop.

Conclusion: Apple Preharvest Fruit Drop and Xylem Functionality

The study by Larson et al. provides valuable insights into the relationship between xylem functionality and PFD in apple trees. While xylem functionality may not be a direct indicator of PFD, it is still an important aspect of fruit development and overall tree health. Further research is needed to better understand the complex factors that contribute to PFD and to develop effective strategies for managing this issue in apple production.

FAQ’s

1. What is preharvest fruit drop (PFD)?

Preharvest fruit drop is a natural process where apples fall from the tree before they are fully ripe. This can be caused by various factors such as environmental stresses, pests, diseases, and hormonal imbalances, leading to significant yield loss.

2. How does xylem functionality relate to PFD?

Xylem is a tissue in plants that transports water and nutrients. Some researchers believe that the loss of xylem functionality may contribute to PFD by disrupting the supply of water and nutrients to the fruit, leading to premature abscission.

3. What were the findings of the study on xylem functionality and PFD?

The study found that xylem functionality was not a direct indicator of PFD potential in apple trees. Treatments that effectively limited PFD did not consistently maintain higher xylem functionality than treatments with substantial PFD. Additionally, the loss of xylem functionality was not associated with cell wall hydrolysis in the fruit pedicel.

4. What implications does the study have for apple growers?

The findings suggest that growers cannot rely solely on xylem functionality to assess the susceptibility of their fruit to PFD. They need to consider other factors such as internal ethylene content and the expression of cell-wall disassembly genes to predict fruit drop.

5. What are the next steps in understanding PFD in apple production?

Further research is needed to better understand the complex factors that contribute to PFD and develop effective strategies for managing this issue. This may involve investigating the role of other physiological and biochemical processes, as well as exploring the potential of new plant bioregulators or cultural practices to reduce PFD.

Links to additional Resources:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/ https://www.researchgate.net/ https://www.mdpi.com/

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Apple (fruit), Xylem (plant anatomy), Preharvest fruit drop

Apple
An apple is a round, edible fruit produced by an apple tree (Malus spp., among them the domestic or orchard apple; Malus domestica). Apple trees are cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus...
Read more: Apple

Xylem
Xylem is one of the two types of transport tissue in vascular plants, the other being phloem. The basic function of the xylem is to transport water from roots to stems and leaves, but it also transports nutrients. The word xylem is derived from the Ancient Greek word ξύλον (xylon),...
Read more: Xylem

Daminozide
Daminozide, also known as aminozide, Alar, Kylar, SADH, B-995, B-nine, and DMASA, is a plant growth regulator. It was produced in the U.S. by the Uniroyal Chemical Company, Inc, (now integrated into the Chemtura Corporation), which registered daminozide for use on fruits intended for human consumption in 1963. In addition...
Read more: Daminozide

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