How does an early flowering cultivar of Prunus mume arrange its bud development in late winter?

X. Yuan, K.F. Ma, M.H. Zhang, Z.Y. Zhang, J. Wang, Q.X. Zhang
Prunus mume is deeply loved by Chinese people since ancient time, not only for its fruit but also for its blossom character of early flowering, which is seen as a symbol of unyieldingness. In order to breed early flowering P. mume cultivars in northern China, an investigation of the flowering process of P. mume 'Fenhong Zhusha' ('FZ') was conducted to see which flowers the earliest. We first defined the floral developing stages with numbers; then counted it to demonstrate the flowering process of 'FZ'. We also recorded the bud stages in the supporting experiments and simulation experiments in the chamber. Our results demonstrated that the top three early flowering Prunus plants all have the aptitude to achieve early flowering character due to low cold requirement, quick bud development and low blooming temperature. But 'FZ' cannot accomplish its early flowering without another important behavior: a further development by the constant effort to grow under very low temperatures, different from other plants. The phenotype is the most direct way to demonstrate the life process of plants. Since P. mume is a non-mixed bud woody plant with a relatively small genome, our results could benefit future research, and provide a clear vision for the flowering research of other important crops in Rosaceae.
Yuan, X., Ma, K.F., Zhang, M.H., Zhang, Z.Y., Wang, J. and Zhang, Q.X. (2020). How does an early flowering cultivar of Prunus mume arrange its bud development in late winter?. Acta Hortic. 1291, 15-20
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1291.3
Rosaceae, woody plant, cold area of temperate, floral developing, phenotype record

Acta Horticulturae