Drought tolerance in apricot cultivars and breeding forms under the conditions of the southern coast of Crimea

V. Gorina, V. Korzin, N. Mesyats, R. Pilkevich
The lack of adaptation to environmental conditions is one of the main reasons restricting apricot spread into different climatic zones. A great variety of soil-climatic conditions of natural regions determines the amplitude of the requirements for cultivars. The breeders are focused on the degree of adaptation of the genotype being created. The aim of the current research was to study the drought tolerance of apricot genotypes in the prevailing conditions of the southern coast of the Crimea in order to identify their adaptation capacity and to select promising genotypes for further use in breeding for improving this trait. Eighteen genotypes of apricot were evaluated during 2015-2017. Water content of leaf tissues, water retention capacity and restoration of turgor were determined; water deficit was estimated according to the methodology by Kushnirenko (1976). It was observed that the cultivars and breeding forms of the Nikita Botanical Gardens are more adapted to drought conditions of the southern region of Russia than the introduced cultivars. The influence of meteorological conditions of the year on the water content of the leaves of apricot is noted. Its greatest variation was recorded in 2015 which ranged from 23.1 to 67.9%, depending on the genotype. During 2015, the average monthly air temperature was exceeded by 1.2-2.9°C compared to average long-term standards and the amount of precipitation decreased by 11.6-15.4 mm. In the course of the experiment, it was established that the loss of water during the withering of leaves depends on the characteristics of the cultivar. The greatest amount of moisture in the leaf after 24 h of wilting following the results of 2015-2017 preserved three plants. In three years of study, there were eight selected promising cultivars and breeding forms based on the studies indicators.
Gorina, V., Korzin, V., Mesyats, N. and Pilkevich, R. (2021). Drought tolerance in apricot cultivars and breeding forms under the conditions of the southern coast of Crimea. Acta Hortic. 1324, 413-420
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1324.64
apricot, cultivars, selection forms, drought resistance, water content, water deficit, turgor restoration

Acta Horticulturae