Browsing Department of Horticulture by browse.metadata.advisor "Cook, N. C."
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- ItemCross pollination biology of apples, with special reference to 'African Red'(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2000-03) Halgryn, Petrus J. (Petrus Johannes); Theron, K. I.; Cook, N. C.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Horticulture.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Ineffective pollination of the main cultivar with the pollinator cultivar is due to either an incompatibility problem between the main and pollinator cultivar, or because the flowering times of the main and pollinator cultivars do not overlap adequately. Three trials were conducted to try and find a more effective way to determine cultivar compatibility and to group cultivars together according to their budburst reaction to chilling. Most apple cultivars are self-incompatible and need cross-pollination for fruit set. Due to differences in the genetically defined fertilisation compatibility between the pollen from the male parent (pollinator) and the egg cell of the female parent, various apple pollinators differ in their ability to set fruit with viable seed. Fruit weight and size are positively correlated with seed set although it has been found that the pollinator can have a direct influence on fruit quality. 'African Red' apple trees on M7 rootstock in an evaluation block on a commercial farm in the Koue Bokkeveld region (32°55'N 19°27'E, Mediterranean climate, ;::::1060Utah chill units, and ;::::530mm rainfall annually; altitude 966 m) were used to assess the influence of 5 pollinators ('Granny Smith', 'Winter Banana', 'Cripps' Pink', 'Cripps' Red' and 'Simpson Crab') on fruit set, fruit weight and length and diameter. The degree to which 'African Red' is self-compatible was also assessed and the effect of flowering position ("king" vs. lateral) on fruit quality was determined. None of the pollinators showed a significantly higher fruit set. No differences in fruit set were found between the "king" and lateral flowering positions. No significant differences were found in the average number or weight of well developed seeds between pollinators. In both years fruit weight was significantly correlated to seed number for all five pollinator cultivars. In 1998 'Simpson crab' gave fruit that were significantly more elongated than those of 'Cripps' Pink'. 'African Red' is highly self incompatible. Compatibility assessments that are based on the number of fruit that develop after the flowers ofthe main cultivar had been hand pollinated in field trials are a time-consuming process. Allele-specific PCR amplification for some of the known S-alleles of the incompatibility S-gene (S2, S3, S5, S7 and S9) was carried out to successfully predict the compatibility of genotypes. The results compared well with that found in literature. For all the Malus domestica cultivars tested at least one, but in some instances both alleles of the S-gene were determined. 'Simpson crab' (Malus baccata) did, however, not possess any of the tested S-alleles. One-year-old, ca. 40 mm long shoots of various apple cultivars were selected from commercial orchards in both the Elgin [34°S, 305 m, ca. 750 chill units (CU) (Richardson et al., 1974)] and Koue Bokkeveld (33°S, 945 m, ca. 1300 CU) regions of the Western Cape, South Africa in two consecutive years (1998 and 1999). Shoots were forced at a constant 25°C with continuous illumination after receiving their allocated chill units. The effect of chilling period on the budburst of each cultivar in both regions was estimated by determining, 1) the total proportion of budburst (%Bb), 2) the proportion of shoots with terminal budburst (%TBb), and 3) the rate of budburst [lI(days to 25% budburst)]. It was found that these indices differed significantly between cultivars, and within cultivars between areas, as far as budburst patterns, in reaction to chilling, were concerned. The rate of budburst was the most consistent in describing the reaction of buds to different chilling periods and could be used to group cultivars together according to their budburst reaction to chilling.
- ItemAn evaluation of the specific apple replant problem in Western Cape orchard soils(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2001-12) Rabie, Louise; Cook, N. C.; Denman, S.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Horticulture.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Apple replant disease (ARD) is one of the major impediments to the establishment of an economically viable apple orchard on sites previously planted to apple. In spite of extensive research on ARD, the etiology remains to be fully elucidated. A possible biological origin of ARD etiology in South Africa was investigated by the dilution of replant field soil with sterilised soil. Commercial orchards with ARD were selected for use in pot trials and disease severity evaluated after three months, by measuring shoot length, dry mass of plants as well as root discolouration. Although diluting replant soil to 25 and 50% (v/v) significantly reduced the effects of ARD, symptoms were only absent in 0% replant soil. It was clear that seedlings planted in any mixture containing replant soil, even only 25% replant soil, consistently exhibited symptoms of stunted growth and root discolouration similar to those seedlings grown in 100% replant soil. This indicates that ARD in South Africa is primarily of a biological nature. As an initial step in formulating sustainable disease control alternatives to replace methyl bromide, pot trials were conducted to assess the impact of compost treatments as well as biological control products on ARD. Compost as well as sterilised and unsterilised compost teas (compost extract) significantly increased seedling growth even under optimum nutrient conditions when compared to the control, suggesting that they negate the effects of ARD. Results also indicated that applying high concentrations of compost does not necessarily provide additional growth benefits compared to lower concentrations. Results with biocontrol formulations were less favourable. Only one of the biocontrol formulations, a combination of Bacillus spp. (Biostart®) improved growth significantly compared to the control. There was, however, some inconsistency with results for the different trials conducted using this product. Fungal as well as nematode populations associated with ARD soils were characterised to the generic level to get a clearer understanding of the etiology of ARD in South Africa. Pythium and Cylindrocarpon spp. were consistently isolated from all six replant soils in all trials that formed part of this study, indicating that these fungi may have a role in ARD etiology in South Africa. Nematodes implicated in ARD development were inconsistently associated with ARD soils used in these studies. This suggests that nematodes do not have a primary causal role in ARD etiology in South Africa. Field trials were conducted in commercial orchards to assess the impact of organic amendments and promising biological control products, as indicated by the pot trials, on ARO severity under field conditions. These biological soil amendments were also compared with the standard chemical control methods for ARO, methyl bromide and chloropicrin. In all three trials established, compost and mulch as well as manure and mulch, consistently increased growth to the same extent as the standard chemical treatments and by combining these chemical treatments with organic amendments a significant, additional growth increase could be attained. Biocontrol formulations evaluated in field studies gave variable results. Biostart® improved growth when applied on its own, but not in combination with the chemical Herbifume (metham-sodium). Inoculating soil with effective microorganisms (EM), consisting primarily of photosynthetic bacteria, had no significant effect on growth. Results from this study indicate that application of organic amendments could possibly substitute for soil fumigation in replanted apple orchards. However, compost quality standards need to be implemented and because few types of compost are universally effective, different types of composts should be compared in specific soil environments before recommendations can be made. Oue to variable results with biocontrol products, ARO management with these biological soil amendments cannot be guaranteed at this stage and further studies are recommended.
- ItemFruit size improvement of 'Royal Gala' apples(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2000-04) Lombard, Christoffel; Theron, K. I.; Cook, N. C.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Horticultural Sciences.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The effect of foliar application oftriadimenol (a triazole), Promalin'", or scoring branches on fruit set, fruit size and fruit quality of 'Royal Gala' apples were evaluated. Four treatments were tested, viz., (a) an unsprayed control, (b) triadimenol sprayed on 6 March 1997 (one month after harvest) and then every two weeks for 8 weeks until leaf drop, as well as at mouse ear and full bloom, (c) as treatment b, plus Promalin® two weeks after full bloom, and (d) Promalin® two weeks after full bloom. Four scoring treatments were tested, viz., (a) a control, (b) scoring at full bloom, (c) scoring two weeks after full bloom, and (d) scoring four weeks after full bloom. Promalin® application two weeks after full bloom improved fruit size without any detrimental effects on fruit quality. This application was in addition to the standard commercial applications of Promalin'" as part of the chemical thinning program. The possible negative effect of the G~+7 on return bloom was however not determined. The scoring treatments were not severe enough to influence growth and development significantly and should be investigated again in the future. The influence of bearing position on apple flower and subsequent fruit quality was evaluated. At full bloom in the 1997/98 season, ten flower clusters from the following bearing positions were collected and evaluated: (a) dorsal spurs, (b) ventral spurs, (c) terminal on bourse shoot, (d) terminal on long shoot, and (e) lateral on long shoots. The same bearing positions were used, one week after full bloom, for the 1998/99 season. The flowering pattern was monitored for both seasons and just prior to harvest in both seasons the length and diameter of the fruit were measured as well as the length of the bourse shoot that had developed from the same bud. Fruit thinning by hand was done in 1997 by thinning to the largest fruit per cluster, but no thinning was done in the 1998 season. The results obtained in the morphological analysis of the flower cluster of 'Royal Gala' were not very consistent. In general, the dorsal spurs appeared to be the better quality flowers and the "king" flower is believed to be the best quality flower in the cluster as far as the receptacle dimensions are concerned. When fruit were harvested, no fruit on long shoots, either in the terminal or lateral positions, were found. Even though the percentage of these positions were low at bloom, this indicates a low set potential and possibly poor flower quality of these bearing positions in 'Royal Gala'. The size of the fruit at harvest in 1998/99, did not correlate well with the parameters measured at bloom. The correlation coefficients between bourse shoot length and fruit size were significant, but relatively small. We found a positive correlation between developed seed number and fruit dimensions. Thinning and heading pruning cuts affect fruit size and yield of 'Royal Gala' apple trees. During the 1997 winter trees were pruned as follows: (a) control with no further pruning, (b) thinning cuts of only entire secondary branches (branches that were thicker than half of the trunk diameter were removed at the point of attachment to the trunk), (c) thinning cuts of secondary branches and tertiary fruiting units (positioned on branches), (d) thinning of spurs only, without removal of branches or fruiting units, and (e) thinning cuts of branches and tertiary fruiting units combined with heading back of fruiting units into the spurs leaving four bud on the fruiting units. Treatments (b) through (e), were conducted at light or heavy pruning intensities, i.e., by leaving 300 or 150 reproductive buds/tree, respectively. Pruning was followed up by hand thinning of fruitlets to one fruit per cluster. All pruning treatments increased fruit size, primarily because of a indirect fruit thinning effect except the combined thinning and heading treatments where a direct effect resulted in the largest apples without having a negative effect on yield. In winter 1998 trees were pruned as follows: (a) control with no further pruning, (b) heavy thinning of secondary branches and fruiting units leaving 250 reproductive buds/tree, (c) light thinning of secondary branches and fruiting units leaving 400 reproductive buds/tree, (d) heavy thinning of secondary branches and fruiting units combined with heading back into the spurs of the remaining fruiting units leaving 250 reproductive buds/tree, and (e) light thinning of secondary branches and fruiting units combined with heading back into the spurs of the remaining fruiting units leaving 400 reproductive buds/tree. In 1998/99 season the advantage of pruning on fruit size were not observed. Lastly, the effect of artificial extinction (removal) of flower clusters on fruit size and quality of 'Royal Gala' apples were evaluated. Individual branches were pruned as follows: (a) control, (b) 25 % removal of fruiting spurs, (c) 50 % removal of fruiting spurs, (d) 75 % removal of fruiting spurs to test for any possible enhancements of fruit size. No subsequent hand thinning of fruitlets was done. Thinning by artificial extinction methods of the fruit buds did not influence fruit size, colour, seed set or seed development. No significant differences were found between fruit number, but with 50% and 75% bud removal fewer fruit were counted. In these data the absence of any significant fruit size improvement may be due to the lack of subsequent hand thinning of fruitlets.
- ItemIncreasing class one fruit in 'Granny Smith' and 'Cripps' Pink' apple(Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2009-12) Fouche, Jacques Roux; Steyn, Willem J.; Midgley, S. J. E.; Cook, N. C.; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Agrisciences. Dept. of Horticulture.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Experiments were conducted to increase the percentage class one ‘Granny Smith’ and ‘Cripps’ Pink’ apples. ‘Granny Smith’ is the most widely grown apple cultivar in South Africa, but its profitability is compromised by the high incidence of sunburn, red blush and poor green colour development. ‘Cripps’ Pink’ is a very lucrative cultivar and producers are striving to maximise the production of fruit that qualify for export. Fruit technologists and growers are debating whether it is best to maximise class one fruit in ‘Cripps’ Pink’ by increasing total yield or by increasing fruit quality. The relationship between ‘Granny Smith’ canopy position and external fruit quality was investigated. Light exposure, peel temperature, green colour development, sunburn and red blush development was followed for individual fruit from the outer, intermediate and inner canopy. Dark green fruit were exposed to moderate to high light levels (25-50% full sun) during the first half of fruit development, similar to fruit that eventually developed sunburn and red blush. The difference came in during the latter half of fruit development when dark green fruit became shaded (3% full sun). Pale green fruit contained less chlorophyll due to consistent low light levels (2% full sun). Fruit at partially shaded canopy positions had a lower occurrence of sunburn and red blush than outside fruit and better green colour development than fruit from the heavily shaded inner canopy. Based on these data, pruning strategies and mulching were evaluated to alter canopy vigour and the light environment in such a way that green colour development is promoted and the occurrence of sunburn and red blush is reduced. In an older, vigorous orchard with a dense canopy, pruning was done to increase light distribution for green colour development and to induce more growth on the side of the trees that are prone to sunburn and red blush. Pruning improved green colour development without affecting sunburn or red blush. In a younger, non-vigorous orchard, pruning and mulching were used to invigorate the canopy to increase shading of fruit and thereby decrease sunburn and red blush. However, these treatments were not effective. Further research should focus on the use of shade nets, accompanied by rigorous pruning, to reduce sunburn and red blush while not decreasing green colour. Five different crop loads were established in an exceptionally high yielding (averaging over 100 ton·ha1) ‘Cripps’ Pink’ orchard by first the thinning of clusters, then the removal of small fruit and, finally, the selective removal of fruit from the shaded inner canopy. Treatments had no effect on iv fruit quality in the first season. The most severe thinning treatment increased the percentage class one fruit in the second season by increasing the number of fruit with adequate red blush. However, seen cumulatively, the higher crop loads yielded more class one fruit per hectare than the lower crop loads, without affecting reproductive and vegetative development or fruit storability. Producers should strive for the highest crop loads allowed by the fruit size limitations in cultivars that are not prone to alternate bearing
- ItemManipulation of the chilling requirement of sweet cherry trees(Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2008-03) Kapp, Cornelius Johannes; Cook, N. C.; Lotze, Elmi; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Agrisciences. Dept. of Horticulture.Commercial production of sweet cherries has recently increased in South Africa, with more than 400 ha planted by 2006. Cherry, a high chilling fruit variety, is however not suited for the mild winter climate of South Africa. This was recognizable through common observed symptoms of delayed foliation and poor fruit set. In addition, cherry is exposed to long and hot summers in the postharvest period. The objective of this study was to evaluate cherry cultural practices that can manipulate (reduce) the trees chilling requirement under South African conditions. Cultural practices where aimed at increasing reserves (nitrogen, cytokinin and carbohydrates) in the tree. In addition, bud dormancy progression of cherry buds was quantified to determine the bud dormancy progression pattern under mild winter conditions. This was achieved through sampling of cherry shoots from different cherry production areas which was then forced in the growth cabinets. A model was developed to identify possible factors and groupings that can explain the cherry bud dormancy pattern. A model, comprising two joined straight lines, was fitted in order to characterize bud dormancy behaviour for sweet cherry cultivars under mild winter conditions. All cherry cultivars followed the expected pattern of entrance and exit from dormancy. Factor analysis showed that factors related to the entrance into dormancy primarily characterize bud dormancy behaviour. Bud dormancy patterns were also a function of environmental conditions within a year as shown by cluster analysis. In addition, buds entered dormancy in mid-summer and remained dormant until chilling accumulation commenced. Bud dormancy release was generally extended over a three to five-month period for all cultivars. Prior to spring budburst exit of both lateral and terminal buds occurred rapidly. Data indicate that there is no ecodormant phase for cherry under the prevalent climatic conditions in South Africa. Further experimentation was aimed at increasing reserves within the trees through cultural practices. In the nitrogen trials, fertilization in the postharvest period had no significant effect on field budburst or bud dormancy progression in one-year-old shoots. Time of flowering was advanced in N treatments during 2007 only. Yield was not significantly increased. Therefore, in this trial, N fertilization in the postharvest period did not significantly reduce the chilling requirement of mature sweet cherry trees under mild winter conditions. Application of particle films (Surround® and Raynox®) or ethylene inhibitors (Retain®) in the summer did not reduce the heat stress the trees experienced. Treatments had no significant effect on carbon assimilation, stomatal conductance, leaf surface temperature, fluorescence, bud dormancy, budburst, flowering and fruit set. Cytokinins sprays (benzyladenine) in autumn did not affect bud dormancy progression, spring budburst or flowering. Hydrogen cyanamide application in spring significantly advanced budburst, time to full bloom and increased yield. Promalin® and Retain®, however, had no significant effect on budburst, flowering or yield. It is therefore evident that cherry, due to its unexpected bud dormancy behaviour and its inability to be significantly influenced by several cultural practices, adapts poorly to South African climatic conditions through not reducing its chilling requirement significantly.
- ItemPhysiological studies of the influence of light and water stress on harvest and postharvest quality of deciduous fruit(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2002-12) Murray, Xavier John; Wand, Stephanie l. E.; Holcroft, D. M.; Cook, N. C.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriScience. Dept. of Horticulture.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Successful export of South African fresh fruit requires fruit of a high quality. Variable fruit quality within a consignment is detrimental to effective marketing of the product. The light microclimate under which the fruit develops is one of the factors that affect within-tree and between-tree variation in quality, maturity and yield. Light exposure effects on fruit quality at harvest and after commercial storage and ripening periods, as well as the physiological mechanisms of these responses to light exposure were studied. Increased exposure to light resulted in the development of typical sun leaf characteristics, with the associated increase in leaf nitrogen concentration and photosynthetic rates. Size and mass of 'Laetitia' plums and 'Cripps' Pink' apples increased with increasing exposure to light. Shade treatments were only started after the initial phase of cell / division was complete. Increased size of the fruit was likely due to the improved carbon balance of the exposed foliage and fruit from the end of cell division until harvest. The transpiration stream was higher in the more exposed foliage compared to the shaded parts of the canopy. This was supported by increased transpiration rates and decreased midday water potentials of exposed leaves. 'Songold' plums and 'Rosemarie' pears were also investigated in the first season, but results were not conclusive. Increased exposure to light was associated with advanced maturity of 'Laetitia' plums at harvest. Shaded fruit were able to attain a similar level of maturity as exposed fruit during storage and ripening periods. At harvest and after the storage and ripening periods, exposed fruit had a higher total soluble solid (TSS) content and therefore an improved eating quality. At harvest, blush colour of 'Laetitia' plums increased with increased exposure to irradiance. Blush colour continued to develop during storage and ripening, and after the ripening period it was evident that blush colour development was associated with a dosage effect i.e. exposure to a cumulative level of irradiance gives the fruit the potential to develop a certain amount of blush colour. Fruit exposed to more than 70% photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) were .able to develop to a similar level of blush colour, whereas, fruit exposed to less than 50% PPFD were not able to attain the same level of blush colour. Increased exposure to light did not result in advanced maturity of 'Cripps' Pink' apples at harvest, but it did lead to improved blush colour and increased TSS levels. Blush colour of 'Rosemarie' pears was also dependent on exposure to light from four weeks before harvest. Exposed 'Laetitia' plums had a greater whole fruit content of Mn and B, but concentration on a dry mass basis of P, K, and B decreased with increasing light. Exposed 'Cripps' Pink' apples had increased whole fruit content of P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Cu and B, but concentration on a dry mass basis of K and Na decreased with increasing light. Nutrient content is often associated with the incidence of internal disorders of fruit after storage and further investigation of this effect is necessary as internal disorders were virtually absent in this study. The termination of irrigation shortly before harvest in order to advance the maturity of all the fruit to a similar level, and the subsequent strip harvest of the fruit on a single harvest date, is a practice commonly used by South African plum producers to reduce cost and ostensibly to improve fruit quality. The effect of this practice on 'Songold' plum quality at harvest, after storage and after ripening was also studied. Drip-irrigated plums and plums subjected to soil drying had a better eating quality and were more marketable than micro-irrigated and non-droughted fruit. Following commercial storage and ripening periods these fruit were firmer, had a higher TSS content and were of a similar size and mass to micro-irrigated and non-droughted fruit. The extended harvesting period, in contrast to a strip harvest, allowed the fruit that were smaller and less mature at the beginning of the period to attain a greater size and advanced maturity toward the end of the harvesting period.
- ItemRipening patterns, ethylene production and improvement of quality of plums (Prunus salicina Lindl.)(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2002-04) Kruger, Liezl; Holcroft, D. M.; Cook, N. C.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Horticultural Sciences.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Internal breakdown (internal browning - IB and gel breakdown - GB), over maturity and immaturity are the main factors adversely affecting the quality of exported South African plums. Maturity problems occur when plums are strip harvested, i.e., all the fruit in a block or orchard are harvested once, when the majority of the fruit are at optimum maturity. This results in both ovennature and immature fruit being harvested and contributes to a high percentage of fruit being rejected for export. In general, internal browning occurs when plums are exported under a single 10\,,, temperature regime and gel breakdown occurs when plums are exported under a dual temperature regime. However, GB can also occur at harvest in fruit that are very ripe and may occur at single low temperatures, where it would be masked by lB. While it is known that some cultivars, like 'Angeleno', can withstand a single temperature regime, others cannot. To the best of our knowledge, the reason for this difference is not understood. Many factors affect the quality of plums, including light incidence in the canopy, mineral nutrition and harvest maturity. Plums that were grown on high density training systems such as 'a V- or spindle system yielded consistently high quality fruit with low incidences of gel breakdown. This was in contrast to earlier findings where low-density training systems produced high levels of GB, especially in the lower part of the tree canopy. Branches that were shaded with 80% shade netting yielded fruit with high levels of GB, indicating that the main effect of improved canopy structure on quality was improved light management. A postharvest boron application on 'Songold' plums prior to storage had no effect on the incidence of intemal breakdown in the fruit, but did damage the cuticle, resulting in severe shrivel. However, internal conductivity and firmness measurements indicated that there was some effect of the boron on cell membranes. A more thorough investigation of pre- and postharvest application of boron is recommended in order to determine whether there could be a positive effect of boron in improving fruit quality in plums. Four cultivars of plums ('Pioneer', 'Sapphire', "Songold ' and 'Angeleno') were harvested throughout, and extending beyond, the commercial harvesting period. In all cultivars, the drop in firmness between harvests was not as great as expected and the later harvested fruit were of a similar, if not superior, quality as compared to the earlier harvested fruit. Later harvested plums tended to have higher TSS and better colour development. Contrary to what was expected, later harvested fruit did not have more internal disorders than earlier harvested fruit. This indicates the importance of harvesting at optimum maturity. 'Angeleno' plums had no internal disorders, even after five weeks of cold storage at a single low temperature. 'Pioneer' and 'Sapphire' plums were classified as climacteric and 'Songold' and 'Angeleno' were classified as suppressed climacteric based on ethylene production. The climacteric plums respired and produced ethylene at a higher rate than the suppressed climacteric plums. Climacteric plums ripened faster during shelf life than suppressed climacteric plums. Furthermore, while climacteric plums did not need a cold storage period prior to ripening, suppressed climacteric plums needed a cold storage period in order to ripen normally. The longer the cold storage period prior to transfer to higher temperatures, the faster the plums ripened and the higher the ethylene production at the higher temperature. The suppressed climacteric genotype could possibly be incorporated into plum breeding programs in order to extend the storage period and shelflife of new plum cultivars. The long storage times required to ship plums from South Africa to the export markets has necessitated research on postharvest physiology and quality of this fruit. The use of the climacteric and suppressed climacteric system to classify fruit is expected to assist in understanding the different physiological responses of the cultivars and assist in developing handling protocols. Preharvest factors, particularly light and nutrition, also playa role in postharvest quality.
- ItemRootstock and dormancy studies in apple and pear(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2001-03) Jacobs, Johannes N. (Johannes Nicolaas); Cook, N. C.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Horticulture.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Delayed foliation is commonly observed in apple and pear producing countries with warm and/or short winter climates, resulting in less synchronised budburst, of fewer buds and reduced yield. Applications of rest-breaking agents minimise the symptoms of delayed foliation. According to chilling models used in fruit producing areas of the world, the climate of South Africa is not suitable for deciduous fruit production, however fruit has been successfully produced here for a long time. This study aimed to quantify the effects of freezing temperatures, different chilling temperatures and the period of chilling, to obtain a better knowledge of bud dormancy release on apple and pear shoots. The chilling period was the most important factor influencing the progression of dormancy. While in some cases the chilling temperature and the freeze treatment effects were significant, the contribution to differences in the progression of dormancy was negligible. Our findings indicate that currently used chilling models should emphasise the time of exposure to low temperatures more than the difference in temperatures between I to ro-c. The South African apple and pear industry made good progress in moving towards high density plantings, but large variation in soil types, non-optimum growing conditions, replant situations and a lack experience with dwarfing rootstocks limited further development. However, there is sti II an urgency to obtain higher early yields of good quality fruit applying the most efficient production practices. We aimed to quantify the field performance of locally available apple and pear rootstocks, in particular from data outside of previously reported local trials, as well as early production of newly planted trials. Information obtained form the industry indicates that BPI and BP3 are the preferred pear rootstocks. From production records of 'Packham's Triumph' pears, it appeared that BP3 and OHxF97 produced the best yields compared to the other rootstocks. Production of 'Doyenne du Cornice' was the best on QA and BP3. In newly planted 'Rosemarie', 'Flamingo', and 'Forelle' trials, different rootstocks were evaluated. 'Rosemarie' showed indications 01 incompatibility with QA and QC5 I, but on BPI and QA with a 'Beurre Hardy' interstock produced good initial yields although BPI induced slightly larger trees. 'Flamingo' on QA and QC51 produced the best yields. 'Forelle' on BPI, BP3, and QA produced similar yields up to the 4th leaf. For apples M793 seems to be the preferred rootstock in the South African industry. From production records of 'Golden Delicious' and 'Granny Smith' apples, it appeared that M793 and MM 106 produced the best yields when compared to Seedling rootstock. In a 'Cripps' Pink' trial, MMI09, M793 and M25 were more vigorous than M7, MMlll and MMI06. MMI06 was cumulatively, over four years from planting, the most yield efficient, although no consistent trend regarding fruit quality was observed between the rootstocks evaluated.
- ItemStudies of apple bud dormancy and branching under conditions of inadequate winter chilling(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2002-12) Cronje, Paul J. R. (Paul Jacobus Robbertse); Cook, N. C.; Jacobs, G.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Horticultural Science.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In order to study the dormancy of apple buds in conditions of inadequate chilling a number of trails were done during 2000 and 2001. Year-old, unbranched shoots of 'Royal Gala', 'Braeburn', 'Cripps' Pink' and 'Granny Smith' apple were harvested randomly from bearing commercial orchards in the Koue Bokkeveld [33°S, 945m, ca.1300 Utah model chili units (CU)) and Elgin (34 "S, 305m, ca.750CU) regions of the Western Cape, South Africa, respectively. Shoots were chilled at 5-rC. Two replicate bundles were removed from the cold room, prepared and forced at 25°C with continuous illumination until budburst had occurred on at least 25% of the shoots per bundle. The change in the rate of budburst over time was calculated for each orchard and to this response; either a linear or a quadratic function was fitted. Poorly correlated variables were selected that best describe these functions. Using these variables, the orchards were separated into cluster groupings that represented a dormancy pattern. The first split separated the lower chilling requirement cultivars from the higher cultivars. The second and third split separated the orchards according to area differences. The clusters representing the warmer area orchards initially entered deeper into dormancy before exiting. The clusters for the colder area immediately had an increased budburst rate. This data confirm that the chilling requirement includes a period of dormancy induction. An important genotype and environment interaction, other than cold unit accumulation, was observed that could be responsible for terminating bud dormancy. Terminal apple buds from 'Royal Gala' Braeburn', 'Cripps' Pink' and 'Granny Smith' apples were cut from orchards in the Koue Bokkeveld and Elgin regions of the Western Cape, South Africa. Buds were harvested every two weeks during the dormant period. The buds were cut in half and leaf scales removed before the water potential were measured. Fresh and dry weights of the buds were also determined. The data presented confirms the changes in availability of free water in dormant buds and that it could be measured in this way. A definite influence of temperature was illustrated. The water potential from buds in a cold production area (Koue Bokkeveld) behaved more "normally" - water is in a bound form during most of the winter and change to an available form later in winter - whereas buds from a warmer production area did not change much in water potential or content. In the trial, two-year-old proleptic-branched shoots, ca. 500mm long, were selected from a 'Royal Gala' orchard in the Koue Bokkeveld region in the Western Cape, South Africa. During the dormancy period of 2000, shoots received two cold treatments; chilling in a cold room at 5-7°C and the natural chilling received in the field. In 2001, the trail was repeated, but only with the field chilling. The shoots received five dormant pruning treatments: control (not pruned), pruning back to the fourth lateral (heading) before or after chilling; and removal of the 2nd and 3rd laterals (thinning) before or after chilling. After pruning and chilling treatments, the shoots were removed from the orchard or cold room every two weeks and forced in a growth chamber. The rate of bud burst (1/days to 50% bud burst) was calculated for the terminal buds of the lateral shoots. Laterals were categorisation according to position: the terminal extension shoot, the 4th lateral, and all other laterals were pooled. Removing distal tissue by pruning (heading more than thinning) promoted bud burst on laterals. Pruning before chilling was more effective than after chilling. The correlative phenomena that inhibit bud burst on proximal shoots within two-yearold branches were manipulated by pruning. The branching response of one-year-old unbranched shoots, 0.5m long, from 'Royal Gala' and 'Cripps' Pink' apple and 'Rosemary' pear were studied after physical manipulation treatments. Shoots for treatment a to d were re-orientated from either a horizontal or vertical position or left in the original position as control, treatment e to h involved the same re-orientation of shoots and were headed. The amount of growth (in mm) from each node was recorded as well as the position from the terminal bud. The 'Cripps' Pink' had a definite shift in the acrotonic branching pattern (for headed and unheaded), towards a more basitonic response. The reduced effect on 'Royal Gala' and 'Rosemary' suggest a difference in genotype response to the treatments as well as time of treatment.
- ItemA study of apple fruiting branch development under conditions of insufficient winter chilling(Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2009-12) Maguylo, Karen; Theron, K. I.; Cook, N. C.; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Agrisciences. Dept. of Horticulture.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Branch architecture is the position and length of lateral shoots along a main axis, and is dependant on competitions (dominance) among meristems and lateral shoots. In areas with inadequate winter chilling, branch architecture is altered, the dynamics of which are poorly understood. The aim of this work was to better understand the dynamics underlying plant architecture. In the first part of the study, the dynamics of apple branch architecture were characterized for two cultivars, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith, in areas with differing degrees of inadequate winter chilling (a warm area and a cool area). In an additional study, progeny of a mapped ‘Telamon’ (columnar habit) and ‘Braeburn’ (normal habit) population were used to quantify branch architecture in an effort to develop quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for branching habit. Although branch architecture could be quantified, it was difficult to relate these to known qualitative branching habits, as the columnar gene is dominant and limited the number of progeny that were not columnar. With the exception of organogenesis in the season preceding growth, acrotonic tendencies (number of growing laterals, lateral length, fruit set) were not related to temporal (primigenic) dominance of the distally located buds or flowers within an axis. In the warm area, both relative time of budburst and flowering among buds within an axis did depict a loss of acrotony (positional dominance of the distally located buds and shoots within an axis). The first buds to burst and flower in the warm area had the greatest ability to grow out and set fruit, respectively, regardless of position within the shoot, implicating a role for primigenic dominance when chill unit accumulation was inadequate. Overall, temporal (primigenic) dominance in the warm area, and positional dominance (acrotony) in the cool area dictated lateral outgrowth and development.
- ItemA study of fruiting habits in pear trees(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2000-12) Du Plooy, Pierre; Cook, N. C.; Jacobs, G.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Horticultural Science.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The understanding of pear branching and bearing habits is required to optimise management practices. The objective of this study was to quantify the branching and bearing habits of pear cultivars under South African conditions of sub-optimal winter chilling. Two-year-old branches of Pyrus communis L. were classified into groups according to the proleptic (from dormant buds) branching habit. In Winter 1998 upright and flat, two-year-old branches were randomly sampled from trees of seven pear cultivars, i.e., Forelle (on Quince A and BPI rootstocks), Abaté Fetel, Flamingo, Packham's Triumph, Golden Russet Bose, Rosemarie and Beurre D'Anjou (all on BPI rootstock). Laterals were classified according to length « lem, 1-5cm, 5-20cm and >20 cm) and position (distal to proximal quadrants on the two-year-old axis). The number of shoots per cm of quadrant length, per length class for each cultivar was subjected to a cluster analysis, then a canonical and a stepwise discriminant analysis. The cultivars were grouped into four groups from Group 1 (Flamingo) which resembles a spurred growth habit with strong apical control, to Group 4 (Packham's Triumph and Golden Russet Bose) which resembles a spreading growth habit and weak apical control. The bearing habits of the same pear cultivars were quantified. In Winter 1998 ten unpruned branches were tagged on trees of each of the seven cultivars. The description started with the development of the main fruiting branch, forming several leaves in the first year of growth (designated year Y), with meristems developing in the leafaxils. In the following season (year Y+1), these axillary meristems have five alternatives: to remain as a latent bud (L), to develop as a vegetative bud (V), to become a flower bud not setting fruit (F), to become a flower bud producing a fruit (P) or to abort and leave a scar (S). Each year the development of these axillary buds were observed and classified anew, giving rise to a sequence. Between 50% ('Forelle/QA') and 75% ('Rosemarie') of buds remained in the growing phase (comprising of V, F or P buds) during the years of monitoring. It was shown that the predominant bud state in the growing phase was V. Although flower formation was low for all cultivars throughout the trial period, 'Packham's Triumph' and 'Rosemarie' displayed a relatively high proportion ofF and P buds in year Y+1. The latter two cultivars also displayed the bourse-over-bourse bearing phenomenon (PP), producing flowers and fruit terminally on bourse shoots. Artificial extinction of reproductive buds was applied in Winter 1999 to individual branches of the pear cultivar Doyenne du Cornice. This pear variety bears on spurs and is prone to biennial bearing. The objective was to reduce the number of growing buds, thereby increasing the allocation of assimilates to remaining reproductive structures. Three thinning intensities, i.e. 0%, 33% and 66% removal of reproductive buds and two methods, i.e. removal of proximal reproductive buds and removal of reproductive buds situated distally on spurs (by means of cutting back) were utilised. Autonomy of fruiting structures was not enhanced, but results warrant the repetition of this trial using whole trees as experimental units.
- ItemA study on dormancy and chilling requirement of peaches and nectarines(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2004-12) Pieterse, Werner-Marcel; Theron, K. I.; Cook, N. C.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Horticulture.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.