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Partitioning of (13)C-photosynthate from spur leaves during fruit growth of three Japanese pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) cultivars differing in maturation date


Partitioning of (13)C-photosynthate from spur leaves during fruit growth of three Japanese pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) cultivars differing in maturation date



Annals of Botany 95(4): 685-693



ISSN/ISBN: 0305-7364

PMID: 15655106

DOI: 10.1093/aob/mci070

In fruit crops, fruit size at harvest is an important aspect of quality. With Japanese pears (Pyrus pyrifolia), later maturing cultivars usually have larger fruits than earlier maturing cultivars. It is considered that the supply of photosynthate during fruit development is a critical determinant of size. To assess the interaction of assimilate supply and early/late maturity of cultivars and its effect on final fruit size, the pattern of carbon assimilate partitioning from spur leaves (source) to fruit and other organs (sinks) during fruit growth was investigated using three genotypes differing in maturation date. Partitioning of photosynthate from spur leaves during fruit growth was investigated by exposure of spurs to (13)CO(2) and measurement of the change in (13)C abundance in dry matter with time. Leaf number and leaf area per spur, fresh fruit weight, cell number and cell size of the mesocarp were measured and used to model the development of the spur leaf and fruit. Compared with the earlier-maturing cultivars 'Shinsui' and 'Kousui', the larger-fruited, later-maturing cultivar 'Shinsetsu' had a greater total leaf area per spur, greater source strength (source weight x source specific activity), with more (13)C assimilated per spur and allocated to fruit, smaller loss of (13)C in respiration and export over the season, and longer duration of cell division and enlargement. Histology shows that cultivar differences in final fruit size were mainly attributable to the number of cells in the mesocarp. Assimilate availability during the period of cell division was crucial for early fruit growth and closely correlated with final fruit size. Early fruit growth of the earlier-maturing cultivars, but not the later-maturing ones, was severely restrained by assimilate supply rather than by sink limitation.

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Accession: 004262340

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