Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis
) is a tropical fruit tree primarily grown as a staple crop for food security in Oceania. Significant wind damage has driven an interest in developing its dwarf phenotype. The presence of any dwarf breadfruit variety remains unknown. Little is known regarding the growth of the species on rootstocks. Here, we examined the phenotype of breadfruit plants growing on marang (Artocarpus odoratissimus
) rootstocks within 18 months after grafting; we identified a rootstock-induced dwarf trait in the species. This dwarf phenotype was characterized by shorter stems, reduced stem thickness and fewer branches, with 73% shorter internode length, 51% fewer and 40% smaller leaves compared to standard size breadfruit plants. The height of breadfruit plants on marang rootstocks was reduced by 49% in 9 months, and 59% in 18 months after grafting. The results suggest marang rootstocks can be applied to breadfruit breeding program for tree vigor control. Further biochemical characterization showed plants on marang rootstocks displayed leaves without change of total chlorophyll content, but with lower total soluble sugars, and stems with reduced activity of plasma membrane H+
-ATPase, a well-known primary proton pump essential for nutrient transport. The significance of the two parameters in rootstock dwarfing is discussed.
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