Forecasting yield of new asparagus cultivars based on some morpho-physiological characteristics of juvenile plants
In a temperate climate such as in Poland (52.4°N, 16.8°E), the first short harvest is conducted in the third year after planting of one-year-old crowns. In order to make a precise evaluation of new cultivars in such climatic conditions, five to six years are needed. A question has arisen whether, instead of a long-term evaluation, an early assessment of some juvenile plant characteristics may allow breeders and growers to forecast the future yield of new cultivars. To investigate this question, a study comprising seven cultivars, bred in countries with different climatic conditions has been carried out for a duration of six years. The results obtained from 8-month-old plants grown in greenhouse conditions have shown that the size of plants, storage root biomass partitioning in a whole plant as well as fern net photosynthesis rate at 100 and 800 µmol m‑2 s‑1 PAR at 25°C differed significantly among cultivars. Significant differences were also present on total and marketable yields as well as mean spear weight. Total cross-sectional area of stems, diameter and growth index of storage roots of juvenile plants were found to be associated with their future yields in a relatively high degree but correlations were not statistically significant. Higher mitochondrial dark respiration rate in fern of juvenile plants was found to be accounted for lower biomass partitioning in storage roots and it could be a possible contributor to lower yields of mature plants.
Chen, W.J., Krzesinski, W., Zaworska, A., Knaflewski, M. and Gasecka, M. (2020). Forecasting yield of new asparagus cultivars based on some morpho-physiological characteristics of juvenile plants. Acta Hortic. 1301, 9-16
juvenile and yielding plants, respiration, photosynthesis, biomass partitioning, carbohydrates, yield