Advertisement

Plant and Soil

, Volume 357, Issue 1–2, pp 41–58 | Cite as

Comparative responses of ‘Gala’ and ‘Fuji’ apple trees to deficit irrigation: Placement versus volume effects

  • Riccardo Lo Bianco
  • Davide Francaviglia
Regular Article

Abstract

Aims

Climate, soil water potential (SWP), leaf relative water content (RWC), stomatal conductance (gs), fruit and shoot growth, and carbohydrate levels were monitored during the 2008 and 2009 growing seasons to study the responses of ‘Gala’ and ‘Fuji’ apple trees to irrigation placement or volume.

Methods

Three irrigation treatments were imposed, conventional irrigation (CI), partial root-zone drying (PRD, 50% of CI water on one side of the root-zone, which was alternated periodically), and continuous deficit irrigation (DI, 50% of CI water on both sides of the root-zone).

Results

After each irrigation season, DI generated twice the soil water deficit (SWDint) than PRD (average of dry and wet sides) and a greater integrated leaf water deficit (LWDint) than PRD and CI. Both PRD and DI reduced gs by 9 and 15% over the irrigation period. RWC of both PRD and DI was directly related to SWP and inversely related (non-linear) to vapor pressure deficit (VPD), whereas it was unrelated to gs. Considering individual sampling days, gs of ‘Gala’ leaves was inversely related to VPD mainly until early August (fruit at cell expansion phase and high VPD), while it was directly related to VPD in September (no fruit and low VPD). On the contrary, gs of ‘Fuji’ leaves was inversely related to VPD from late August until mid October (low VPD and fruit at cell expansion phase). Fruit growth was not affected by irrigation, whereas shoot and trunk growth was reduced by DI. Irrigation induced sporadic and inconsistent changes in carbohydrate contents or partitioning, with a general tendency of DI leaves to degrade and PRD to accumulate sorbitol and sucrose in dry periods.

Conclusions

‘Gala’ trees exhibited a more conservative water use than ‘Fuji’ trees due primarily to different timing of fruit growth and crop loads. Different levels of SWDint, rather than changes in stomatal control and carbohydrate partitioning, seem to play a major role in determining a better water status in PRD than in DI trees.

Keywords

Carbohydrates Partial root-zone drying Relative water content Soil water potential Stomatal conductance Vapor pressure deficit 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was financially supported by the Intramural Scientific Research Fundings of the University of Palermo (ex quota 60%) for year 2007. Sincere thanks go to the group of graduate and undergraduate students for their great help in the field and laboratory.

References

  1. Allen RG, Pereira LS, Raes D, Smith M (1998) Crop evapotranspiration – guidelines for computing crop water requirements. FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 56Google Scholar
  2. Bieleski RL, Redgwell RJ (1985) Sorbitol versus sucrose as photosynthesis and translocation products in developing apricot leaves. Austral J Plant Physiol 12:657–668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bieleski RL (1982) Sugar alcohols. In: Loewus FA, Tanner W (eds) Plant carbohydrates. I. Intracellular carbohydrates. Encyclopedia of plant physiology, NS vol. 13A. Springer, Berlin, pp 158–192Google Scholar
  4. Bieleski RL (1969) Accumulation and translocation of sorbitol in apple phloem. Austral J Biol Sci 22:611–620Google Scholar
  5. Chalmers DJ, Mitchell PD, van Heek LAG (1981) Control of peach tree growth and productivity by regulated water supply, tree density, and summer pruning. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 106:307–312Google Scholar
  6. Chaves MM, Maroco JP, Pereira JS (2003) Understanding plant responses to drought—from genes to the whole plant. Funct Plant Biol 30:239–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Davies WJ, Wilinson S, Loveys B (2002) Stomatal control by chemical signalling and the exploitation of this mechanism to increase water use efficiency in agriculture. New Phytol 153:449–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dodd IC (2009) Rhizosphere manipulations to maximize ‘crop per drop’ during deficit irrigation. J Exp Bot 60:2454–2459PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dodd IC, Egea G, Davies WJ (2008a) ABA signalling when soil moisture is heterogeneous: decreased photoperiod sap flow from drying roots limits ABA export to the shoots. Plant Cell Envir 31:1263–1274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dodd IC, Egea G, Davies WJ (2008b) Accounting for sap flow from different parts of the root system improves the prediction of xylem ABA concentration in plants grown with heterogeneous soil moisture. J Exp Bot 59:4083–4093PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dodd IC, Theobald JC, Bacon MA, Davies WJ (2006) Alternation of wet and dry sides during partial root-zone drying irrigation alters root-to-shoot signalling of abscisic acid. Functional Plant Biol 33:1081–1089CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dry PR, Loveys BR (1998) Factors influencing grapevine vigour and the potential for control with partial root-zone drying. Austral J Grape Wine Res 4:140–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dry PR, Loveys BR, Botting DG, Düring H (1995) Effects of partial root-zone drying on grapevine vigour, yield, composition of fruit and use of water. Proc Ninth Austral Wine Ind Tech Conf 128–131Google Scholar
  14. Dry PR, Loveys BR, Düring H (2000) Partial drying of the root-zone of grape. I. Transient changes in shoot growth and gas exchange. Vitis 39:3–7Google Scholar
  15. Düring H (1985) Osmotic adjustment in grapevines. Acta Hort 171:315–322Google Scholar
  16. Ebel RC, Proebsting EL, Evans RG (1995) Deficit irrigation to control vegetative growth in apple and monitoring fruit growth to schedule irrigation. HortScience 30:1229–1232Google Scholar
  17. Ebel RC, Proebsting EL, Patterson ME (1993) Regulated deficit irrigation may alter apple maturity, quality, and storage life. HortScience 28:141–143Google Scholar
  18. Einhorn T, Caspari HW (2004) Partial root-zone drying and deficit irrigation of ‘Gala’ apples in a semi-arid climate. Acta Hort 664:197–204Google Scholar
  19. Erf JA, Proctor JTA (1987) Changes in apple leaf water status and vegetative growth as influenced by crop load. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 112:617–620Google Scholar
  20. Escobar-Gutiérrez AJ, Zipperlin B, Carbonne F, Moing A, Gaudillère JP (1998) Photosynthesis, carbon partitioning and metabolite content during drought stress in peach seedlings. Austal J Plant Physiol 25:197–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fereres E, Cruz-Romero G, Hoffman GJ, Rawlins SL (1979) Recovery of orange trees following severe water stress. J Appl Ecol 16:833–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fereres E, Soriano MA (2007) Deficit irrigation for reducing agricultural water use. J Exp Bot 58:147–159PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Forshey CG, Weires RW, Stanley BH, Seem RC (1983) Dry weight partitioning of ‘McIntosh’ apple trees. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 108:149–154Google Scholar
  24. García-Tejero I, Romero-Vicente R, Jiménez-Bocanegra JA, Martínez-García G, Durán-Zuazo VH, Muriel-Fernández JL (2010) Response of citrus trees to deficit irrigation during different phenological periods in relation to yield, fruit quality, and water productivity. Agric Water Manag 97:689–699Google Scholar
  25. Gowing DJG, Davies WJ, Jones HG (1990) A positive root-sourced signal as an indicator of soil drying in apple, Malus × domestica Borkh. J Exp Bot 41:1535–1540CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Green SR, Clothier B (1999) The root zone dynamics of water uptake by a mature apple tree. Plant Soil 206:61–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hansen PE, Grauslund J (1978) Levels of sorbitol in bleeding sap and in xylem sap in relation to leaf mass and assimilate demand in apple trees. Physiol Plant 42:129–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kudoyarova GR, Vysotskaya LB, Cherkozyanova A, Dodd IC (2007) Effect of partial root-zone drying on the concentration of zeatin-type cytokinins in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) xylem sap and leaves. J Exp Bot 58:161–168PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lakso AN, Geyer AS, Carpenter SG (1984) Seasonal osmotic relations in apple leaves of different ages. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 109:544–547Google Scholar
  30. Lakso AN (1983) Morphological and physiological adaptations for maintaining photosynthesis under water stress in apple trees. In: Marcelle R, Clijsters H, Van Poucke M (eds) Stress effects on photosynthesis. Nijhoff/Junk, The Hague, pp 85–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lang A, Ryan KG (1994) Vascular development and sap flow in apple pedicels. Ann Bot 74:381–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Leib BG, Caspari HW, Redulla CA, Andrews PK, Jabro JJ (2006) Partial root-zone drying and deficit irrigation of ‘Fuji’ apples in semi-arid climate. Irrig Sci 24:85–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Li TH, Li SH (2005) Leaf responses of micropropagated apple plants to water stress: nonstructural carbohydrate composition and regulatory role of metabolic enzymes. Tree Physiol 25:495–504PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lo Bianco R, Rieger M, Sung SS (2000) Effect of drought on sorbitol and sucrose metabolism in sinks and sources of peach. Physiol Plant 108:71–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Loescher WH, Marlow GC, Kennedy RA (1982) Sorbitol metabolism and sink-source interconversion in developing apple leaves. Plant Physiol 70:335–339PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lombardini L, Caspari HW, Elfving DC, Auvil TD, McFerson JR (2004) Gas exchange and water relations in ‘Fuji’ apple trees grown under deficit irrigation. Acta Hort 636:43–50Google Scholar
  37. Lötter J, de V, Beukes DJ, Weber HW (1985) Growth and quality of apples as affected by different irrigation treatments. J Hort Sci 60:181–192Google Scholar
  38. Massonnet CE, Rambal CS, Dreyer E, Regnard JL (2007) Stomatal regulation of photosynthesis in apple leaves: evidence for different water-use strategies between two cultivars. Ann Bot 100:1347–1356PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mills TM, Behboudian MH, Clothier BE (1994) The diurnal and seasonal water relations, and composition, of ‘Braeburn’ apple fruit under reduced plant water status. Plant Sci 126:145–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mitchell PD, Chalmers DJ (1982) The effect of reduced water supply on peach tree growth and yields. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 107:853–56Google Scholar
  41. Mpelasoka BS, Behboudian MH, Green SR (2001) Water use, yield and fruit quality of lysimeter-grown apple trees, responses to deficit irrigation and to crop load. Irrig Sci 20:107–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Myers BJ (1988) Water stress integral. A link between short term stress and long term growth. Tree Physiol 4:315–323PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. O’Connell MG, Goodwin I (2007) Responses of ‘Pink Lady’ apple to deficit irrigation and partial root-zone drying: physiology, growth, yield and fruit quality. Austral J Agric Res 58:1068–1076CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ranney TG, Bassuk NL, Whitlow TH (1991) Osmotic adjustment and solute constituents in leaves and roots of water-stressed cherry (Prunus) trees. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 116:684–688Google Scholar
  45. Rojas-Escudero E, Alarcón-Jiménez AL, Elizalde-Galván P, Rojo-Callejas F (2004) Optimization of carbohydrate silylation for gas chromatography. J Chromatogr A 1027:117–120PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Šircelj H, Tausz M, Grill D, Batiç F (2007) Detecting different levels of drought stress in apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh) with selected biochemical and physiological parameters. Sci Hortic 113:362–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stoll M, Loveys B, Dry P (2000) Hormonal changes induced by partial root-zone drying of irrigated grapevine. J Exp Bot 51:1627–1634PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Streck NA (2003) Stomatal response to water vapor pressure deficit: an unsolved issue. Rev Bras Agrociência 9:317–322Google Scholar
  49. Talluto G, Farina V, Volpe G, Lo Bianco R (2008) Effects of partial rootzone drying and rootstock vigour on growth and fruit quality of 'Pink Lady' apple trees in Mediterranean environments. Aust J Agric Res 59:785–794Google Scholar
  50. Van Hooijdonk BM, Dorji K, Behboudian MH (2004) Responses of ‘Pacific Rose’ ™ apple to partial root-zone drying and to deficit irrigation. Eur J Hort Sci 69:104–110Google Scholar
  51. Wahbi S, Wakrim R, Aganchich B, Tahi H, Serraj R (2005) Effects of partial rootzone drying (PRD) on adult olive tree (Olea europaea) in field conditions under arid climate. Physiological and agronomic responses. Agric Ecosyst Environ 106:289–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wang Z, Stutte GW (1992) The role of carbohydrates in active osmotic adjustment in apple under water stress. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 117:816–823Google Scholar
  53. Wang Z, Quebedeaux B, Stutte GW (1996) Partitioning of [14C] glucose into sorbitol and other carbohydrates in apple under water stress. Austral J Plant Physiol 23:245–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Warrit B, Landsberg JJ, Thorpe MR (1980) Responses of apple leaf stomata to environmental factors. Plant Cell Environ 3:13–22Google Scholar
  55. Webb K, Burley JWA (1962) Sorbitol translocation in apple. Science 137:766PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Xiloyannis C, Dichio B, Nuzzo V, Celano G (1999) Defence strategies of olive against water stress. Acta Hort 474:423–426Google Scholar
  57. Xu YC, Li SH, Chai CL, Liu GJ, Chen SW (2001) Carbohydrate metabolism in source leaves of Jonagold apple trees under water stress and after water stress relief. J Fruit Sci 18:1–6Google Scholar
  58. Yamaki S, Ishikawa K (1986) Roles of four sorbitol-related enzymes and invertase in the seasonal alteration of sugar metabolism in apple tissue. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 111:134–137Google Scholar
  59. Zegbe JA, Behboudian MH (2008) Plant water status, CO2 assimilation, yield, and fruit quality of ‘Pacific RoseTM’ apple under partial rootzone drying. Adv Hort Sci 22:27–32Google Scholar
  60. Zhou R, Sicher R, Quebedeaux B (2001) Diurnal changes in carbohydrate metabolism in mature apple leaves. Austral J Plant Physiol 28:1143–1150Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento DEMETRAUniversità degli Studi di PalermoPalermoItaly

Personalised recommendations