alexa Effect of delayed fruit harvest on photosynthesis, transpiration and nutrient remobilization of apple leaves
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation

Author(s): Michael Blanke, Iryna I Tartachnyk

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The aim of the work was to compare autumnal photosynthesis and remobilization processes in apple (Malus domestica) trees harvested either at commercial harvest date or 6 wk later (delayed harvest). • Apple leaf photosynthesis, measured by porometry, remained large at 8–14 µmol CO2 m−2 s−1 and was not limited by stomatal function after the commercial harvest date. The autumnal reduction both in photosynthesis and in vivo RUBISCO activity was less pronounced in apple trees with a delayed harvest. Maximum photochemical efficiency (Fv : Fm) of apple leaves also remained large at 0.80 for 3 wk after the commercial harvest date. The subsequent decreases in both maximum photochemical efficiency (Fv : Fm) and chlorophyll content were delayed by 2 wk in trees harvested 6 wk later. • Long shoot leaves developed red-blue anthocyanin colouration 2 wk after harvest, accompanied by greater leaf carbohydrate content. This was by marked contrast to long shoot leaves of still-fruiting apple trees, which lacked this anthocyanin colouration. Potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen declined more rapidly in the leaves of apple trees harvested at the commercial date, an indication of earlier remobilization. • In conclusion, fruit harvest accelerated leaf senescence, indicated by chlorophyll breakdown and remobilization of nutrients in both spur and long shoot leaves, and, additionally, by commencing anthocyanin synthesis in long shoot leaves.

This article was published in New Phytologist and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation

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