A study on dormancy and chilling requirement of peaches and nectarines

Pieterse, Werner-Marcel (2004-12)

Thesis (MSc)--University of Stellenbosch, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Most South African peach and nectarine production areas lack in adequate winter chilling. To address these issues, a conventional breeding programme was started, to develop new and improved stone fruit cultivars with special emphasis on climatic adaptation and pomological attributes. This study was conducted to test the accuracy of the scientific method called the phenological method of classification, currently used by the breeding programme to classify the selections in the second phase of evaluation according to chilling requirement. During April 2000 and May 2001 and continuing until the next spring, 20 oneyear- old shoots of 30 peach and nectarine selections were harvested fortnightly from an evaluation orchard on Bien Donné Experiment Farm, Simondium, Western Cape (34° S). All selections were previously categorised as high (>800 Utah chilling units [CU]), medium (400-800 CU) or _low «400 CU) chilling requirement based on phenologic observations. According to the preliminary classification of the selections included in this study, six selections were classified as high, three as medium and 21 as low chilling requirement. Two replicate bundles of shoots of each selection were prepared and forced at 25° C with continuous illumination until no further changes in bud burst occurred for a period of five days after which the shoots were then discarded. CU in the orchard were calculated according to the Utah and Infruitec models. The hours below 12° C and 7° C were also calculated. For each selection the number of days until 20% vegetative and reproductive bud break was plotted over day of year, Utah CU, Infruitec CU, hours below 12° C, and hours below 7° C, and expressed as a parabolic function. Similarly, the inverse of the number of days until 20% bud break or the rate of bud growth was also plotted against all the above variables. The area under these parabolas was statistically analysed using the CANDISC procedure of SAS Release 8.1. The groupings of the CANDISC procedure were more or less consistent with the preliminary groupings obtained with the phenoligical classification method. On 16 May 2000 and 15 May 2001, 100 one-year-old shoots of the same peach and nectarine selections were harvested from the evaluation orchard on Bien Donné Experiment Farm, covered in wet paper towelling and black plastic bags and placed in a cold room kept at a temperature range between 4° C and 7° C. Two replicate bundles of 10 shoots of each selection were prepared fortnightly and forced at 25° C with continuous illumination until no further changes in bud burst occurred for a period of five days after which the shoots were then discarded. CU accumulated in the cold room at each transferral date was calculated according to the Utah model. For each selection the number of days until 20% vegetative bud break was plotted over Utah CU, and expressed as a parabolic function. Similarly, the inverse of the number of days until 20% bud break or the rate of bud growth was also plotted against the above variables. The area under these parabolas was statistically analysed using the CANDISC procedure of SAS Release 8.1. Once again, the groupings of the CANDISC procedure were more or less consistent with the preliminary groupings obtained with the phenoligical classification method. Due to the nature of the scientific method used in this study, there is room for a certain margin of experimental error to occur, which could account for the misclassifications by the CANDISC procedure, when performed on the 2001 season's data. It can be concluded that the phenological method of classifying the selections, as currently used in the breeding programme, is consistent with the results of the scientific method described here. Therefore, it is recommended that the phenological method be used in future to classify the selections according to chilling requirement (CR), as this method is less time consuming and less costly to perform. Finally the outcome of the analysis of one season's data was used as calibration data against which the other season's data was tested and the consistency of the results, using one set of discriminant functions, was tested. It can be concluded that a unique set of discriminant functions is necessary for each winter season to accurately classify selections according to CR with the CANDISC procedure.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Studie van dormansie en koue behoefte van perskes en nektariens Gebrekkige winterkoue is 'n gegewe in die meeste Suid-Afrikaanse perske en nektarien-produksie-streke. Om die gevolge hiervan aan te spreek, is 'n konvensionele teelprogram tot stand gebring om verbeterde steenvrug cultivars te ontwikkel met voortreflike pomologiese eienskappe en wat aangepas is by die plaaslike klimaatstoestande. Hierdie studie is geloods om die akkuraatheid van die wetenskaplike metode, genoem die fenologiese klassifikasie metode, soos tans deur die teelprogram gebruik, waarvolgens seleksies volgens kouebehoefte geklassifiseer word, te toets. Vanaf April 2000 en Mei 2001 tot en met die daaropvolgende lente, is 20 eenjaar-oue lote van 30 perske en nektatrien seleksies twee weekliks in 'n fase 2 evaluasie boord op Bien Donné Proefplaas, te Simondium in die Wes- Kaap (34° S) versamel. AI die seleksies was vooraf op grond van fenologiese waarnemings geklassifiseer in kategorieë van hoog (>800 Utah koue-eenhede [CU]), medium (400-800 CU) of laag «400CU) ten op sigte van kouebehoefte. Hiervolgens val ses van die seleksies wat in die studie ingesluit is in die hoë-, drie in die medium- en 21 in die lae kategorie. Lote van elke seleksie is voorberei en in twee herhalings gebondel, waarna dit geforseer is teen 25° C met deurlopende beligting totdat geen verdere knopbreek vir 'n periode van vyf dae voorgekom het nie, waarna die lote verwyder is. CU in die boord is volgens die Utah en Infruitec modelle bereken. Die aantal uur onder 12° C en onder 7° C is ook bereken. Die aantal dae wat dit elke seleksie geneem het om 20% vegetatiewe en 20% reproduktiewe knopbreek te bereik is bereken en geplot teenoor die dag van die jaar, Utah CU, Infruitec CU, aantal uur onder 12° C en aantal uur onder 7° C en uitgedruk as 'n paraboliese funksie. Die inverse van die aantal dae tot 20% knopbreek, of die tempo van knopbreek, is op soortgelyke wyse geplot teenoor al bogenoemde veranderlikes. Die oppervlakte onder die parabole is statisties ontleed met behulp van die CANDISC prosedure van die SAS program (Vrystelling 8.1). Die groeperings wat met die CANDISC prosedure verkry is het grootliks ooreengestem met die groeperings volgens die fenologiese klassifikasie metode. Op 16 Mei 2000 en 15 Mei 2001, is 100 eenjaar-oue lote van dieselfde perske en nektarien seleksies in die evaluasie boord op Bien Donné versamel, toegedraai in klam handdoekpapier, in swart plastiek sakke geplaas en in 'n koelkamer geplaas waarvan die temperatuur konstant gehou is tussen die grense van 4° C en T" C. Twee herhalings van 10 lote elk, van elke seleksie, is twee weekliks voorberei en geforseer by 25° C met deurlopende beligting totdat geen verdere knopbreek vir 'n periode van vyf dae plaasgevind het nie, waarna die lote verwyder is. Op elke oordragdatum is die aantal CU, wat in die koelkamer geakkumuleer het, volgens die Utah model bereken. Die aantal dae wat dit elke seleksie geneem het om 20% vegetatiewe knopbreek te bereik is bereken en geplot teenoor die Utah CU en uitgedruk as 'n paraboliese funksie. Die inverse van die aantal dae tot 20% knopbreek , dus die tempo van groei, is op soortgelyke wyse bererken en geplot teenoor bogenoemde veranderlikes. Die oppervlak onder die paraboliese funksies is statisties ontleed met behulp van die CANDISC procedure. Die groeperings van die CANDISC prosedure het weereens grootliks ooreengestem met die groeperings wat met die fenologiese metode van klassifikasie verkry is. Weens die aard van die wetenskaplike metode wat tydens hierdie studie gebruik is, kom daar 'n sekere mate van eksperimentele fout voor, wat moontlik die misklassifikasies van die CANDISC prosedure kan verklaar, wanneer dit op die 2001 seisoen se data uitgevoer word. Die gevolgtrekking kan gemaak word dat die resultate van die fenologiese metode, soos dit tans deur die teelprogram gebruik word, ooreenstem met die resultate wat deur die wetenskaplike metode, wat hier beskryf word, verkry is. Dus word daar aanbeveel dat die fenologiese metode in die toekoms gebruik word om die seleksies te klassifiseer volgens koue behoefte (CR), aangesien hierdie metode minder tyd in beslag neem en goedkoper is om uit te voer. Laastens is die resultaat van die analise van een seisoen se data gebruik as kalibrasiedata waarteen die data van die ander seisoen getoets is om so ooreenstemmendheid van die resultate te toets as slegs een stel diskriminant funksies gebruik word. Die slotsom was dat 'n unieke stel diskriminantfunksies nodig is vir elke winter seisoen om die seleksies akkuraat met behulp van die CANDISC prosedure volgens koue-behoefte te klassifiseer.

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