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Open AccessArticle

Foliar Application of Calcium and Growth Regulators Modulate Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium L.) Tree Performance

1
Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences (CITAB), University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
2
National Institute for Agrarian and Veterinary Research (INIAV, I.P.), Pólo de Alcobaça, Estrada de Leiria, 2460-059 Alcobaça, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(4), 410; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040410 (registering DOI)
Received: 2 March 2020 / Revised: 19 March 2020 / Accepted: 24 March 2020 / Published: 26 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
: Cracking of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) fruits is caused by rain events close to harvest. This problem has occurred in most cherry growing regions with significant economic losses. Several orchard management practices have been applied to reduce the severity of this disorder, like the foliar application of minerals or growth regulators. In the present study, we hypothesized that preharvest spray treatments improve the physiological performance of sweet cherry trees and could also mitigate environmental stressful conditions. Effects of repeated foliar spraying of calcium (Ca), gibberellic acid (GA3), abscisic acid (ABA), salicylic acid (SA), glycine betaine (GB), and the biostimulant Ascophyllum nodosum (AN) on the physiological and biochemical performance of ‘Skeena’ sweet cherry trees during two consecutive years (without Ca in 2015 and in 2016 with addition of Ca) were studied. Results showed that in general spray treatments improved the physiological performance and water status of the trees. AN and ABA sprays were demonstrated to be the best compounds for increasing yield and reducing cherry cracking as well as improving photosynthetic performance and leaf metabolites content. In conclusion, AN and ABA might be promising tools in the fruit production system.
Keywords: spray treatments; leaf gas exchange; leaf metabolites; water status; yield; cherry cracking spray treatments; leaf gas exchange; leaf metabolites; water status; yield; cherry cracking
MDPI and ACS Style

Correia, S.; Queirós, F.; Ferreira, H.; Morais, M.C.; Afonso, S.; Silva, A.P.; Gonçalves, B. Foliar Application of Calcium and Growth Regulators Modulate Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium L.) Tree Performance. Plants 2020, 9, 410.

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