Memorias de investigación
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Where do olive plants sense the cold requirements for flowering?

Research Areas
  • Crop production

The vernalization response for tlowering, in which cold temperatures are required for dormancy release and floral difterentiation, is well known in olive as in temperate fi·uit trees. Many experimental trials have been carried out to develop models describing the required chilling temperatures and exposure times, in which overall field or growth chamber temperature is used to indicate whole tree conditions. The in tluence of soil temperature on olive tree water uptake and the eftect of water stress on flowering suggest that root temperature may be a factor in olive tree flowering requirements. Therefore we tested the separate intluences of root and canopy temperatures on flowering. Fow· yearsold olive trees, growing in pots (5L), aiJ ofwhich had tlowered in the previous year, were randomly assigned to three groups of three n·ees. From 1 February to 31 March two groups (cold and mixed temperature) were grown outdoors in Ciudad Real (Spain), and one group (warm) in a controlled chamber in Seville (Spain). Under outdoor conditions ambient temperature ranged between -6.6 and 27°C, and in the chamber air temperature was consistently above I6°C. In one outdoor group (mixed temperature) a pipe was installed inside the pots surrounding the roots through which hot water was circulated to maintain temperatw-e above 15°C, while the canopy was isolate ti·om the heated roots to avoid any warming. The second (cold) outdoor group, located near the first group to ensure the same canopy temperatures, was unmoditied. Chilling needs, calculated using different temperature lhresholds (0-7, 7-13°C), were reached in outdoor conditions. Best flowering occurred outdoors, while tlowering in chamber (warm) conditions was almost ni!. Flowering outdoors in plants with warmed roots was three times lower than in unmodified outdoor conditions, indicating stimulation of tlowering by cold root temperatures.
International Symposium on flowering, fruit set and alternate bearing
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Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Centro o Instituto I+D+i: Centro de Estudios e Investigación para la Gestión de Riesgos Agrarios Medioambientales (CEIGRAM). Centro Mixto UPM-AGROMUTUA-ENESA
  • Departamento: Producción Agraria