Physiological process related to low flowering in Chilean white strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis (L.) Mill. subsp. chiloensis f. chiloensis)
The white strawberry (F. chiloensis subsp. chiloensis f. chiloensis) is a native species from Chile that has the characteristic of emitting only one inflorescence plant‑1 in each season, unlike most of the Fragaria species. To study this behavior, experiments were carried out for evaluating the two main processes involved, flower induction and crown branching. Regards to flower induction, a field experiment was performed in the traditional crop zone; growth parameters and the differentiation state of the apex were evaluated. The second process studied was the branching, for which the effects of Prohexadione-calcium and apex excision were evaluated. The main results indicated that floral induction in Chilean white strawberry does not respond to decreasing temperatures and day lengths. Cold temperatures promote the change from the vegetative to reproductive apex, but these conditions are present within a narrow window during winter; furthermore, not all plants can be induced. On the other hand, Pro-Ca applications reduced vegetative growth and stolon emission but did not improve the branching. In Chilean white strawberry decapitation can increase the numbers of lateral crowns. These results suggest that the Chilean white strawberry needs vernalization requirements to induce their apical meristem to produce inflorescences, and that the species has a strong apical dominance that inhibits branching, which is probably related to the domestication process of this crop many centuries ago.
Grez, J., Contreras, E., Sanchez, S. and Gambardella, M. (2021). Physiological process related to low flowering in Chilean white strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis (L.) Mill. subsp. chiloensis f. chiloensis). Acta Hortic. 1309, 561-566
floral induction, vernalization, gibberellin, apical dominance, domestication