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Physiological Activity, Nutritional Composition, and Gene Expression in Apple (Malus domestica Borkh) Influenced by Different ETc Levels of Irrigation at Distinct Development Stages

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Division of Fruit Science, SKUAST-Kashmir, Srinagar 180009, India
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ICAR-Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture, Srinagar 190007, India
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Division of Biochemistry, SKUAST Jammu, Srinagar 180009, India
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Department of Biology and Environmental Engineering, University of Craiova, 13, A.I. Cuza, 200585 Craiova, Romania
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Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
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Reaseheath College, University Centre Reaseheath, Nantwich CW5 6DF, UK
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Division of Basic Science, SKUAST-Kashmir, Srinagar 180009, India
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Division of Vegetable Science, SKUAST-Kashmir, Srinagar 180009, India
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gonzalo Martínez
Water 2021, 13(22), 3208; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223208
Received: 6 October 2021 / Revised: 24 October 2021 / Accepted: 30 October 2021 / Published: 12 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil–Plant–Water Dynamics on a Field Scale)
Managing irrigation efficiently is paramount given the uncertainty in the future availability of water and rising demand for this resource. Scheduled irrigation significantly influences vegetative growth through improving crop physiology and nutrient uptake and use efficiency. Influence of different irrigation treatments (100%, 75%, and 50% volume of Class A pan evapotranspiration) applied at four different phenological stages (flowering and fruit set (C1), fruit growth stage (C2), pre-harvest stage (C3), and throughout the growing season (C4)) through drip along with a control (rainfed) on leaf physiology, nutrient content, and uptake through gene expression was studied on Super Chief Sandidge variety raised on M9T337 (5 and 6 years old) grown at a spacing of 1.5 × 3 m (2222 plants/ha) under high density condition of Kashmir Himalayan range of India. A comparison of data reveals that drip irrigation at 100% Crop evapotranspiration (ETc) increased leaf area by 60% compared to rainfed conditions. Leaf area significantly increased in plants irrigated throughout the growing season (C4) and during flowering and fruit set stage (C1). Irrigation amount likely does not have any influence on leaf development after the fruit growth stage. Stomatal opening and their size greatly vary from no irrigation to optimum irrigation in these plants. High density apple trees exposed to optimum irrigation levels (100% and 75% ET) had significantly higher concentrations of nutrients (N, P, and K) in their leaf tissues. The concentration of Ca and Mg content in leaf tissues are greatly influenced by the optimum supply of water during the early growth stages of apple growth. The availability of water significantly influences nutrient transporter gene expression and thus nutrient uptake by regulating such transporter genes. It is therefore observed that proper irrigation during C1 and stage C2 stage are the critical growth stages of apple for optimum leaf physiological activity and proper nutrient uptake. View Full-Text
Keywords: apple; drip-irrigation; leaf physiology; nutrient uptake; transporter genes apple; drip-irrigation; leaf physiology; nutrient uptake; transporter genes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mushtaq, R.; Sharma, M.K.; Mir, J.I.; Mansoor, S.; Mushtaq, K.; Popescu, S.M.; Malik, A.R.; El-Serehy, H.A.; Hefft, D.I.; Bhat, S.A.; Narayan, S. Physiological Activity, Nutritional Composition, and Gene Expression in Apple (Malus domestica Borkh) Influenced by Different ETc Levels of Irrigation at Distinct Development Stages. Water 2021, 13, 3208. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223208

AMA Style

Mushtaq R, Sharma MK, Mir JI, Mansoor S, Mushtaq K, Popescu SM, Malik AR, El-Serehy HA, Hefft DI, Bhat SA, Narayan S. Physiological Activity, Nutritional Composition, and Gene Expression in Apple (Malus domestica Borkh) Influenced by Different ETc Levels of Irrigation at Distinct Development Stages. Water. 2021; 13(22):3208. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223208

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mushtaq, Rafiya, Mahinder K. Sharma, Javid I. Mir, Sheikh Mansoor, Khalid Mushtaq, Simona M. Popescu, Abdul R. Malik, Hamed A. El-Serehy, Daniel I. Hefft, Sajad A. Bhat, and Sumati Narayan. 2021. "Physiological Activity, Nutritional Composition, and Gene Expression in Apple (Malus domestica Borkh) Influenced by Different ETc Levels of Irrigation at Distinct Development Stages" Water 13, no. 22: 3208. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223208

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