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The Anatomy of the Developing Bud Union and its Relationship to Dwarfing in Apple

KATERINA SOUMELIDOU, N. H. BATTEY, P. JOHN and J. R. BARNETT
Annals of Botany
Vol. 74, No. 6 (December 1994), pp. 605-611
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42759368
Page Count: 7
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The Anatomy of the Developing Bud Union and its Relationship to Dwarfing in Apple
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Abstract

Light microscopy has been used to study the effect of dwarfing and semi-dwarfing apple rootstocks on the early development of bud-unions with 'Gala', and the anatomy of 2-year-old bud-unions between 'Bramley' and the same rootstocks. The bridging of the cut edges of the cambia of bud and rootstock was achieved by differentiation of callus formed at an early stage in budding. New cambial cells were aligned at right angles to the pre-existing cambia, with their long axes horizontal. Subsequently-formed xylem adopted this arrangement, so that fibres and vessels were arranged obliquely to the axis of the stem. At the interface between the bud and dwarfing rootstocks vessels with smaller than normal diameter were formed, indicating the presence of elevated levels of auxin in this region. In addition, little xylem was produced in the adjacent rootstock tissue. In the case of semi-dwarfing rootstocks, the rootstock produced normal xylem after a brief interruption. We suggest that failure of auxin to cross the bud-union interface in the case of the dwarfing rootstocks leads to reduced rootstock xylem formation, and hence a poor supply of water and minerals to the scion, and this underlies the dwarfing effect.

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