Manipulating transplant morphology to advance post-transplant growth and yield in strawberry.

Book Title: NA
Year Published: 2005
Month Published: NA
Author: Reekie, J. Y.
Book Group Author: NA

Two methods were developed to enhance transplant success and minimize water use of strawberry transplants harvested in Canadian nurseries for use in the annual strawberry production system in the southern USA: mechanical leaf removal by mowing, and chemical control of growth and development using prohexadione-calcium (ProCa). Strawberry cultivars Camarosa and Sweet Charlie, used in the annual strawberry production system with contrasting growth patterns, were chosen. Treatment in Canadian nurseries resulted in several morphological changes in the transplants, i.e. reduced plant height and total leaf area, increased root to shoot ratio and decreased specific leaf area (with ProCa application). Physiological changes in response to the treatments included a higher rate of photosynthesis, an increase in root initials, an increase in fruit number and osmotic adjustment that pre-adapted transplants to water stress. Production changes caused by treatments included an increase in the number of harvestable daughter transplants produced in the nurseries with ProCa application, decreased irrigation requirement and increased early or seasonal fruit yield in mowed and ProCa-treated plants in some but not all years. Mowing and ProCa are useful tools to manipulate strawberry plant morphology in the northern nurseries to produce more robust transplants resulting in better post-transplant growth, higher fruit yields, earlier fruit production and lower irrigation costs. This has the potential to significantly improve profitability for nursery and fruit producers.

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crop yield, cultivars, fruits, growth, irrigation, leafarea, leaves, methodology, mowing, photosynthesis, plant growthregulators, plant height, plant water relations, roots, shoots,strawberries, transplanting, water stress, water use, water useefficiency, Fragaria, Fragaria ananassa, Fragaria, Rosaceae, Rosales,dicotyledons, angiosperms, Spermatophyta, plants, prohexadione,Horticultural Crops (FF003) (New March 2000), Plant Physiology andBiochemistry (FF060), Plant Water Relations (FF062), Plant Production(FF100), Soil Water Management (Irrigation and Drainage) (JJ800)(Revised June 2002) [formerly Soil Water Management], Techniques andMethodology (ZZ900)

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