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Abnormal phloem development and sieve-tube necrosis associated with Golden Delicious on EM VII rootstock

Abnormal phloem development and sieve-tube necrosis associated with Golden Delicious on EM VII rootstock

Proceedings American Society Hort Science 89: 14-22

Golden Delicious apples on EM VD rootstock in Illinois have shown a high mortality rate associated with a trunk malformation. Longitudinal sections revealed poor unions of conducting tissues at the bud union, while trees on seedling rootstock showed live conducting tissue and no malformation in trunk growth. Phloem from 3-, 5-, and 10-year-old Golden Delicious trees growing on seedling roots was compared with that from similar age trees on EM VH. The size and breakdown of the sieve-tube elements from these various combinations are illustrated in relation to possible causes of breakdown and eventual death of the tree. The trees with growth abnormalities originating in the graft-union region showed progressive symptoms of one-sided weakness resulting in eventual death of the tree. Phloem tissue from the malformed trunks of trees growing on EM VII stock was necrotic as early as May 18 in the phloem-ray cells, accompanied by lack of growth of the surrounding tissues. Accumulated materials on the sieve plates were evidence of the steess of this abnormal growth. Cross sections of bark showed more active phloem in trees growing on a seedling rootstock than on EM VII. The latter had thicker bark and almost twice as many phloem-fiber cells, but these were compressed into a smaller tree circumference.

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