‘Honeycrisp’ Bitter Pit Response to Rootstock and Region under Eastern New York Climatic Conditions
There are still unknown factors at play in the causation of bitter pit in ‘Honeycrisp’ as well as in other apple varieties. To investigate some of these factors, we conducted a survey of 34 ‘Honeycrisp’ orchard blocks distributed across two disparate production regions in eastern New York State, representing a variety of rootstocks, over three growing seasons. Weather, soil, horticultural traits, fruit quality traits, pick timing, leaf and peel minerals were evaluated for their impact on bitter pit (BP) incidence; factors were further evaluated for their interaction with region and rootstock. ‘Honeycrisp’ trees on B.9 rootstock were smaller but with comparable terminal shoot growth when compared to those on M.26 and M.9 rootstocks. B.9 fruits, which had similar fruit size to M.26 and M.9 and had good fruit quality at harvest and after storage, were much less likely to express bitter pit symptoms compared to M.9 and M.26 rootstocks. Not all traits evaluated individually correlated significatively with bitter pit incidence after a period in storage. Depending on rootstock and region, the correlation could be significant in one situation, with no correlation at all in another. In this study, peel Mg/Ca ratio and peel Ca correlated with BP for all three rootstocks, with the strongest correlations associated with the M.9 clones. These same traits correlated with BP for both regions. Pick timing had a significant influence on BP incidence following storage, with later picks offering better bitter pit storage performance. While excessively large fruits, those in the 48 and 56 count size categories, were found to be highly susceptible to BP regardless of rootstock, B.9 BP fruit susceptibility for smaller sizes was found to be size neutral. A PLSR prediction model for each rootstock and each region showed that different variables correlated to BP depending on the situation. Thus, the results could suggest that in addition to the variables considered in this study, there are other less studied factors that can influence the expression of BP symptoms. We strongly suggest that rootstock BP performance be considered a critical parameter when planning a commercial ‘Honeycrisp’ orchard and be evaluated in rootstock breeding and development programs prior to wide commercial release.
633 - Field crops and their production
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Donahue, Daniel J., Gemma Reig Córdoba, Sarah E. Elone, Anna E. Wallis, and Michael R. Basedow. 2021. "‘Honeycrisp’ Bitter Pit Response To Rootstock And Region Under Eastern New York Climatic Conditions". Plants 10 (5): 983. doi:10.3390/plants10050983.
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