Endogenous cytokinin levels of table grape vines during spring budburst as influenced by hydrogen cyanamide application and pruning
Cytokinins play an important role in budburst, flowering and fruit set in table grapes. Rest-breaking treatments with hydrogen cyanamide and pruning practices modify budburst and reproductive development in table grapes, especially in regions with low and often inadequate winter chilling. The effect of these treatments on the xylem sap and bud Zeatin riboside (ZR) content was determined during late winter and budburst in 'Sultanina', 'Sunred Seedless', and 'Alphonse Lavalleé' canes in a total of nine trials conducted between 1997 and 2001. Bud ZR levels of hydrogen cyanamide treated 'Sultanina' canes showed an earlier and increased cytokinin peak, in particular in the distal buds. Large ZR peaks before budburst and noticeable differences between distal and proximal buds were absent on non-sprayed canes. The xylary ZR content of long pruned 'Sultanina', 'Sunred Seedless', and 'Alphonse Lavaleé' canes showed a significantly higher and earlier cytokinin peak than in short pruned spurs. By contrast, the bud ZR content tended to be higher in spurs than canes. Pruning and rest-breaking treatments enhanced budburst and increased endogenous cytokinins in these experiments. Long pruning in 'Sultanina' and 'Sunred Seedless' (both parthenocarpic) is necessary for acceptable fruit set and yields. Possibly, in longer canes more cytokinin is available for reproductive development. 'Alphonse Lavaleé' (seeded) is sufficiently fruitful and produces adequate yields following spur pruning. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.