Gibberellic acid and flower bud development in loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.)

Autores UPV


The application of gibberellic acid (GA 3) to the whole loquat tree from mid-May to early June and from early August to the onset of flowering, significantly reduced the number of premature flowering shoots per current shoot and per m 3 of canopy, and so reduced the total number of panicles per m 3 of canopy. The number of vegetative shoots per m 3 of canopy was also significantly reduced by applying GA 3. The response depended on the concentration applied and produced optimal results at 50mgl -1. Differences in the number of flowers per panicle and leaves per shoot were not significantly modified by the treatment. Nevertheless, GA 3 applied directly to the developing apex near to flower differentiation reduced the number of flowers per panicle by 25-35% and without modifying the morphological characteristics of the panicle. Results suggest that less sprouting of lateral buds was largely responsible for the reduction in flowering intensity caused by GA 3. Best treatments reduced thinning costs (60%, approximately) of premature flowering shoots, slightly increased fruit diameter and significantly improved fruit colour and juice quality, thus advancing harvest date. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.