The influence of stolon harvest frequency and nitrate: ammonium ratio on asexual reproduction of day-neutral strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa 'Albion')
Strawberry cultivars with perpetual flowering traits produce daughter plants and flowers at the same time. Manual flower elimination and insufficient daughter plant production are major cost-inducing factors for the US strawberry nursery operations. Although up to one billion strawberry plants are produced in the US every year, optimizing the production practices rarely was the focus of past research efforts. In the presented study, we investigated 1) the effect of stolon harvest frequency, and 2) the impact of four nitrate: ammonium ratios on daughter plant production in strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Albion). For objective 1, strawberry plants were grown under controlled environment in soilless media (coconut:perlite 50:50) in a randomized block design (3 replicates, 4 plants per replicate, 26°C, 507 mol m‑2 s‑1 PPFD, 14 h/10 h D/N cycle). Stolons were harvested at 7-day and 21-day intervals, and once after 63 days. Plants harvested after 12 weeks produced significantly more daughter plants plant‑1 (102 plant‑1), compared to 33 daughter plants in 3 weekly harvests (P<0.001). For objective 2, strawberry plants were grown under greenhouse conditions in soilless media (coconut:perlite 50:50) in a randomized block design (3 replicates, 4 plants per replicate). Following treatments were established (NO3-:NH4+ ratio): 1) 100%:0%; 2) 80%:20%; 3) 60%:40%; 4) 50%:50% (modified Yamazaki solution at 6 mol L‑1 nitrogen day‑1; 16 h/8 h D/N cycle; 16 weeks). Plants treated with a 60:40 (NO3-:NH4+) nutrient solution had less number flowers, compared to the 80:20 and 100:0 treatments while producing the same amount of daughter plants. Our results indicate that propagation and flowering rates of perpetual flowering strawberries can be optimized by the manipulation of harvest and fertilization techniques.
Shi, X., Hernández, R. and Hoffmann, M. (2021). The influence of stolon harvest frequency and nitrate: ammonium ratio on asexual reproduction of day-neutral strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa 'Albion'). Acta Hortic. 1309, 283-288
everbearing, asexual reproduction, strawberry, stolon, nitrogen