Flower bud development and chilling requirements in 'Bing' sweet cherry
In order to survive low temperatures, fruit trees in temperate regions stop their growth and enter dormancy. This is not just a survival strategy; chilling is also a prerequisite for adequate flowering. Chilling requirements are specific for each genotype and determine the possible geographical distribution of the different cultivars. In spite of the relevance of dormancy for fruit production, very little is known on the biological events during this time in flower buds, in which no visible changes can be observed until bud burst. In this work, flower bud development has been sequentially examined in sweet cherry (Prunus avium L. 'Bing') grafted on Santa Lucia 64 rootstock, in relation to dormancy and chilling accumulation. The work was performed over two consecutive years, paying attention to the possible anatomical and cytochemical changes accompanying dormancy. Results showed that, while no anatomical variations occurred along dormancy, conspicuous cytochemical changes could be tracked along this period that may help to understand the requirement for chilling.
Fadón, E., Herrero, M. and Rodrigo, J. (2017). Flower bud development and chilling requirements in 'Bing' sweet cherry. Acta Hortic. 1161, 361-366
Prunus avium, dormancy, flower development, starch, chilling requirements