Variety and Rootstock to Improve Productivity and Market Opportunities for Fruit Crops

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524). This special issue belongs to the section "Fruit Production Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 985

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Silver City Highway, Dareton 2717, Australia
Interests: rootstock/variety evaluation; plant growth regulators; crop management; flowering physiology; stress physiology; heat unit/chill unit mapping; climate change; citrus; persimmons
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. Laboratory of Pomology, School of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
2. Joint Laboratory of Horticulture, Institute of Soil and Water Resources, ELGO-Dimitra, 57001 Thessaloniki-Thermi, Greece
Interests: agriculture; plant nutrition; fertilizers; proteomics; horticulture; fruit quality; fruit science; postharvest physiology; postharvest; postharvest biology; pomology; sweet cherry; metabolomics; transcriptomics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The development and adoption of high-performance rootstocks are fundamental to supporting the growth and profitability of future fruit crops and meeting consumer expectations. More than 20 tree characteristics are influenced by rootstocks. Rootstocks profoundly influence most aspects of fruit production such as tree vigor, precocity, productivity, fruit quality, and resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses. There is a need for the consistent production and supply of a high-quality fruit with improved external and internal quality suitable for both domestic and export markets. Marginal soil and climatic conditions are becoming a limitation to growing fruit commercially and sustainably. Rootstock research is thus a high priority for fruit crops. These include tree size, cropping efficiency, and fruit quality including fruit size. There is increased interest in the use of rootstocks to reduce tree size and vigor, allowing higher planting densities in many fruit crops around the world. The adoption of higher-density plantings with smaller, less vigorous (dwarfed) trees producing greater yield per canopy surface area and per hectare will improve production efficiency. Dwarfing rootstocks must be tested under various soil and climatic conditions prior to their widespread adoption.

Variety improvement is an aim of most horticultural industries and seeks to improve or broaden the varietal choice for farmers to meet both domestic consumer and export needs. There is an increasing demand for convenience-style fruit such as low-seeded or seedless varieties, which can also be easy to peel, sweet, and have good visual appeal. The development of these new or improved varieties can come from local or international breeding and selection programs. Prior to the large-scale commercial adoption of new fruit varieties, it is advisable to test them under local climatic and cultural conditions. The horticultural evaluation of new fruit varieties should be aimed at producing fruit to a commercial standard in a short time frame and at presenting this information to the relevant industry. Decisions to adopt or reject new varieties are often made based on early results from trial plantings to gain a commercial advantage. An evaluation program should provide impartial data on tree performance and fruit quality to assist farmers in making informed decisions when redeveloping or changing their varietal mix.

The most important recommendations will result from the right scion and rootstock combination. In this issue, research related to rootstock and varieties are encouraged to be submitted for publication.

Dr. Tahir Khurshid
Dr. Michailidis Michail
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • budding/grafting
  • interstock
  • yield/quality
  • disease resistance
  • hardiness
  • salinity

Published Papers (1 paper)

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13 pages, 698 KiB  
Tree Performance, Yield, and Fruit Quality of ‘Valencia’ Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck) Selections on New Poncirus trifoliata Rootstocks
by Tahir Khurshid, Andrew Creek, Graeme Sanderson and Xiaochun Zhao
Horticulturae 2024, 10(4), 393; - 12 Apr 2024
Viewed by 520
This study reports the performance of seven Valencia (Citrus sinensis) selections grafted to four Trifoliata (Poncirus trifoliata) rootstocks in the Riverina region of south-east Australia. Six of the Valencia selections (numbered as Valencia 1 to 6) were from orchards in the [...] Read more.
This study reports the performance of seven Valencia (Citrus sinensis) selections grafted to four Trifoliata (Poncirus trifoliata) rootstocks in the Riverina region of south-east Australia. Six of the Valencia selections (numbered as Valencia 1 to 6) were from orchards in the Riverina region, and the seventh was a standard commercial variety ‘Keenan’ (control). Three of the four Trifoliata rootstock selections (‘Zao Yang’, ‘Tanghe’, and ‘Donghai’) were imported from the People’s Republic of China, and the fourth was the ‘Tri22’ (control) selection used commercially in Australia. ‘Valencia 5’ produced the highest cumulative (162 kg/tree) yield over the five harvest seasons and increased levels of Total Soluble Solids (TSS, 1.7 °Brix) compared with the current industry standard, ‘Keenan’. Trees grafted to ‘Zao Yang’ produced higher yields than any of the other Trifoliata selections, again outperforming the current industry standard, ‘Tri22’. The new combination of ‘Valencia 5’ scion on ‘Zao Yang’ rootstock represents an opportunity to significantly improve orchard productivity, particularly for juice production. ‘Valencia 6’ on Zao Yang’ had the highest percentage (58%) of fruit >75 mm in diameter compared with other scion/rootstock combinations and creates an additional opportunity for fresh market production. Significant differences in tree size, growth rates, and productivity were identified. Results from this evaluation have resulted in the commercialisation of ‘Valencia 5’ and ‘Valencia 6’ scions and ‘Zao Yang’ rootstock as three new citrus varieties for sweet orange production in Australia. Full article
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