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Cuevas J.,University of Almeria | Hueso J.J.,Estacion Experimental de Cajamar Las Palmerillas
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.) blooms in autumn forming apical panicles after a short summer rest. Deficit irrigation during summer has been proven highly successful in imposing earlier bud rest and hence in advancing blooming date. With the aim of reproducing some of the beneficial effects of summer water deficits, we have explored the effect of soil applications of paclobutrazol on 'Golden Nugget', a vigorous genotype with limited response to deficit irrigation. The experiment was carried out during two consecutive seasons (2012 and 2013) on 'Golden Nugget' adult trees grafted on BA-29 quince in an orchard located in El Ejido (Almería, Spain). The results show that paclobutrazol when applied in June (soon after harvest) twice to the soil at a split dose of 0.2 g/m2 (4 L/ha) was able to slightly advance apical bud summer rest onset and release. The effects were, however, negligible on blooming dates. Later applications of paclobutrazol (in July) were completely unsuccessful in modifying 'Golden Nugget' reproductive cycle. The results show that shorter, more compact panicles were formed in the trees treated with paclobutrazol. More flowers per panicle of similar size (estimated by their dry weight) were also produced in trees treated with paclobutrazol. Our results are discussed in the context of apical bud dormancy establishment and release. Source

Pinillos V.,University of Almeria | Peinado S.,University of Almeria | Gonzalez M.,Estacion Experimental de Cajamar Las Palmerillas
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2013

Cherimoya is a climacteric fruit that ripens after harvest. It has an ephemeral postharvest life because of high perishability and its limited capacity for cold storage. External morphological changes during fruit maturation are not pronounced and a reliable harvest index does not exist. Farmers, seeking better prices, often harvest under-matured fruits, causing a decrease in fruit quality. It is, therefore, very important to establish an optimum harvest index. In this work we have analyzed fruit development and maturation of 'Fino de Jete' cherimoya, the main cultivar in Spain. The evolution of fruit size, skin colour, and carpel segments and the peduncle-fruit joint zone appearance, from fruit-set until natural fruit drop, were described. We also have characterized the postharvest evolution and quality parameters of fruits harvested from 9 to 19 weeks after pollination (wap). The most remarkable changes coincided with the most important phases in the fruit-growth-curve, leading to the establishment of four phenological stages: stage 1, "young-fruit"; stage 2, "green fruit", fruits at the end of phase I; stage 3, "colour-break", at the beginning of phase III; and stage 4, "mature fruit" phase III. Fruits in stage 2, harvested before 15 wap did not ripen properly. After 15 wap, at stage 3, fruits reached optimum soluble solids concentration (20-23°Brix) in 6 days at room temperature. Nevertheless, later harvesting, after 17 wap, reduced the fruit seed index. We have estimated that about 1325 growing degree days are necessary for a fruit to be physiologically mature and to reach proper postharvest quality. © 2013 ISHS. Source

Pinillos V.,University of Almeria | Chiamolera F.M.,Sao Paulo State University | Ortiz J.F.,University of Almeria | Hueso J.J.,Estacion Experimental de Cajamar Las Palmerillas | Cuevas J.,University of Almeria
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2015

Poor skin color in red table grape cultivars is one of the most troublesome difficulty producers face in the management of this crop. Recent EU limitations of ethylene release products left growers with poor prospects to improve the color of the berry. In this work, we have explored 'Crimson Seedless' response to deficit irrigation from veraison to the end of harvest and we observed an improvement in the development of the berry skin color. Earlier yield was also obtained in plants under deficit irrigation, with a higher percentage of yield in the first picking operations, due to earlier acquisition of color by the berries. Negative effects on berry size or on total yield were not observed. Therefore, we may recommend deficit irrigation from veraison to harvest as a mean to increase the quality of the berry and to reduce water consumption. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

Hueso J.J.,Estacion Experimental de Cajamar Las Palmerillas | Stellfeldt A.,University of Almeria | Cuevas J.,University of Almeria
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.) blooms in autumn, develops its fruit during winter and ripens them in early spring. This unusual reproductive cycle makes fruit earliness paramount in this crop, and any cultural technique able to improve fruit earliness results extremely important to loquat growers. In this regard, deficit irrigation (DI) in 'Algerie' loquat, starting in June and finishing before August, advances next season bloom and harvest, increasing crop profitability. Highly successful experiments have been carried out in the past on this topic in 'Algerie' loquat trees grafted on quince, but DI strategies need to be adjusted for different cultivar-rootstock combinations. In order to investigate whether prebloom DI generates similar outcomes in vigorous cultivars, we studied the response of 'Golden Nugget' grafted on 'BA-29' quince to prebloom DI during two consecutive seasons (2010/11 and 2011/12) in an orchard located in El Ejido, Almería, Spain. The results show that withholding irrigation for 7-9 weeks significantly reduced stem water potential reaching at the end of the DI period a minimum record of-2,0 MPa. This severe water stress allowed an advancement of full bloom of between 9 and 12 days, depending on the season, in water-deprived trees with respect to fully-irrigated trees. Unfortunately, this advancement was almost unnoticed at harvest date. Nonetheless, no negative effects were produced by adopting DI and important water savings and increases in water use efficiency were achieved with this irrigation strategy. Source

Hueso J.J.,Estacion Experimental de Cajamar Las Palmerillas | Gonzalez M.,Estacion Experimental de Cajamar Las Palmerillas | Alonso F.,University of Almeria | Stellfeldt A.,University of Almeria
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.) is a subtropical evergreen fruit tree grown successfully in the Mediterranean Basin. In this region loquat blooms in fall and is harvested at the beginning of spring. Deficit irrigation strategies can already achieve an advance in blooming and harvesting dates, thus obtaining a significant increase in the final output value. In Spain, loquat annual pruning is done immediately after harvest (June) or just before blooming (September) depending on the cultivation area. In this work, we studied the effect of pruning date and deficit irrigation on blooming, fruit earliness and quality. The experiment was carried out on 'Algerie' loquat trees grafted on 'Provence' quince in El Ejido (Almeria, Spain). It was found that pruning and deficit irrigation advanced harvest dates. On the other hand, trees pruned in September bloomed and matured earlier than those pruned in June. Deficit irrigation combined with pruning in September provides the earliest harvest (17 days). No effects of watering strategy or pruning date were observed on the number and size of the inflorescences, and on the quantity and quality of yield. Source

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