Characterization of abscission-related pathways during early apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) fruitlet development: a marker-assisted horticultural practices approach

M.A. Flaishman, S.M. Cochavi, A. Faigenboim, O. Crain
Thinning of apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) flowers and/or fruitlets became the most important technique to improve the fruit quality, increase annual bloom and reduce the alternate bearing effect. The gap of knowledge concerning young apple fruit abscission in general, and the effect of chemical thinning in particular, may have serious economic implications for commercial orchards, and therefore, needs to be comprehensively understood. In this study, RNASeq was used to identify the molecular mechanisms that underlay young fruit abscission in apple fruitlets. Comparative analysis between different fruitlet types revealed a large set of potential abscission-related transcripts that can signify young fruit abscission at 8 and/or 12 days after full bloom. These processes, which enhance growth and development in one fruitlet type, while promote stress and senescence-related processes in the other, may be considered as a very early indication for an imminent abscission event. Numerous differentially expressed genes, allowed us to identify and develop a total of six reliable molecular markers that were shown to efficiently signify abscission-related events at 3 or 7 days after chemical thinning treatment. Our findings establish a practical feasibility to the concept of utilizing a molecular marker for quantifying the thinning treatment efficiency. These molecular markers can be incorporated into online automated sensors that will improve thinning-related horticultural decisions in commercial orchards under changing climate conditions.
Flaishman, M.A., Cochavi, S.M., Faigenboim, A. and Crain, O. (2018). Characterization of abscission-related pathways during early apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) fruitlet development: a marker-assisted horticultural practices approach. Acta Hortic. 1229, 65-70
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1229.11
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1229.11
apple, thinning, fruit quality, marker-assisted horticultural practices
English

Acta Horticulturae