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Open AccessArticle

Physiological Effects of Exogenously Applied Reflectants and Anti-Transpirants on Leaf Temperature and Fruit Sunburn in Citrus

1
Department of Agriculture, Agribusiness, and Environmental Science, Texas A&M University Kingsville-Citrus Center, 312 N. International Blvd., Weslaco TX 78599, USA
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Department of Agriculture, Agribusiness, and Environmental Sciences, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, 700 University Boulevard, MSC 228, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
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Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, 2415 E. Business 83, Weslaco, TX 78596, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present address: Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Texas Tech University, Box 42122, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
Plants 2019, 8(12), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120549
Received: 30 October 2019 / Revised: 12 November 2019 / Accepted: 26 November 2019 / Published: 27 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
High temperatures and drought are common stresses limiting crop growth and productivity in subtropical regions where citrus are produced. In addition to impacts on physiological processes such as transpiration, photosynthesis, and respiration, excessive solar radiation can also reduce fruit productivity by inducing physiological disorders such as sunburn. This study evaluated the effects of radiation reflectants and anti-transpirants on leaf physiology, and fruit sunburn in grapefruit trees (Citrus x paradisi Macfs. cv. Rio Red) in south Texas during the 2016 and 2017 growing seasons. Two calcium-based reflectants, and a methene/pinolene-based anti-transpirant were foliar applied to fruit-bearing trees. Reflectants reduced fruit and leaf temperatures by 0.2°C and 0.21°C, respectively, while the anti-transpirant treatments increased fruit and leaf temperature by approximately 0.83°C and 0.2°C relative to the controls. Stomatal conductance decreased by 1.3% and 3.3%, respectively, in response to the reflectant treatments, while anti-transpirant treatments resulted in decreased stomatal conductance (8.3%) relative to the controls. More sunburned fruit were found in anti-transpirant treated trees in both years (6% and 8.2% for 2016 and 2017) and the reflectant treatments reduced sunburn incidence by 4.9% and 1.8% in those years. These observations indicate that reflectant applications could be a viable strategy to mitigate heat/radiation stress and sunburn in grapefruit.
Keywords: sunburn; citrus; Lower Rio Grande Valley; reflectants; calcium; anti-transpirants sunburn; citrus; Lower Rio Grande Valley; reflectants; calcium; anti-transpirants
MDPI and ACS Style

Rodriguez, J.; Anoruo, A.; Jifon, J.; Simpson, C. Physiological Effects of Exogenously Applied Reflectants and Anti-Transpirants on Leaf Temperature and Fruit Sunburn in Citrus. Plants 2019, 8, 549.

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