Browsing Department of Horticulture by browse.metadata.advisor "Barnabas, A. D."
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- ItemEvaluating the seasonal changes in calcium concentration and distribution in apple fruit after application of different calcium fertilisation strategies(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2011-12) Wilsdorf, Robert Ernst; Lotze, Elmi; Theron, K. I.; Mesjasz-Przybylowicz, J.; Przybylowicz, W. J.; Barnabas, A. D.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Horticulture.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Localized calcium (Ca) deficiencies frequently develop independent from total Ca supply and total fruit Ca concentration. Bulk mineral analyses is therefore not completely suitable for determination of the susceptibility of fruit in developing Ca-linked fruit physiological disorders like bitter pit, as it supplies insufficient information regarding the spatial accumulation of Ca within the fruit. Additional Ca is applied either as soil or foliar applications, where soil applications are applied either after fruit set (pre-harvest) or in the period after harvest. The contribution of these different methods of Ca application to the total Ca concentration in "Braeburn" fruit was quantified over three consecutive growing seasons. Foliar applications have been proven to be successful in suppressing bitter pit development and improving the Ca status of the fruit. The effectiveness of different formulations of foliar Ca products in influencing these parameters was also determined. Furthermore, the distribution pattern of fruit Ca resulting from different application strategies was mapped using particle induced X-ray emission technology. In the "Braeburn" trial, mineral analyses indicated no significant differences between treatments in terms of Ca concentration at 80 days after full bloom (dafb). However, when soil applications occurred with active root growth (visually monitored), treatments differed significantly 80 dafb. Weekly foliar Ca applications from 28 dafb resulted in higher fruit Ca concentrations 80 dafb than a pre-harvest soil Ca application (January, 2010). A possible explanation for the inefficiency of pre-harvest soil Ca is the disintegration of xylem vessels from 40 dafb (before root uptake) for sensitive cultivars such as Braeburn. Bitter pit initiation has been shown to occur in the earlier part of the season. This, together with a reduced Ca supply to the fruit early in the season due to xylem disintegration (for sensitive cultivars), indicates the importance of early season foliar Ca applications. PIXE analyses were used to establish the radial Ca distribution in apples. Ca was concentrated in the skin and core, with very low values in the outer cortex. PIXE results indicated fruit Ca concentrations to be the lowest in the pre-harvest soil application treatment. This was in agreement with mineral analyses results. Ca enriched areas resulting from effective Ca delivery via the vascular bundles, had a profound effect on fruit Ca concentrations in the immediate core and cortex. At harvest, this effect was much more subtle and emphasizes the importance of untimely xylem rupturing on eventual fruit Ca concentration. At 80 dafb, treatments where foliar Ca was applied showed higher Ca concentrations in the outer cortex (where symptoms of bitter pit typically occur). Calflo™ fruit had significantly higher Ca concentrations in "Braeburn" compared to fruits from Foliar GS™ and GG™ treatments. Calflo™ and Calcimax™ had a higher active Ca percentage (12%) compared to Foliar GSTM and GGTM (10%). Adding the Lecithin™ (surfactant) to Calcimax™ is not recommended as it did not improve its uptake. In "Golden Delicious", the commercial spray program of seven, weekly foliar applications (Calcinit™) resulted in fruit with significantly higher Ca concentrations compared to other treatments.