Tree performance and fruit yield and quality of 'Okitsu' Satsuma mandarin grafted on 12 rootstocks
The citriculture in Brazil, as well as in other important regions in the world, is based on very few mandarin cultivars. This fact leads to a short harvest period and higher prices for off-season fruit. The 'Okitsu' Satsuma (Citrus unshiu Marc.) is among the earliest ripening mandarin cultivars and it is considered to be tolerant to, citrus canker (Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri Schaad et al.) and to citrus variegated chlorosis (Xylella fastidiosa Wells et al.). Despite having regular fruit quality under hot climate conditions, the early fruit maturation and absence of seeds of 'Okitsu' fruits are well suited for the local market in the summer(December through March), when the availability of citrus fruits for fresh consumption is limited. Yet, only a few studies have been conducted in Brazil on rootstocks for 'Okitsu'. Consequently, a field trial was carried out in Bebeclouro, Sao Paulo State, to evaluate the horticultural performance of 'Okitsu' Satsuma mandarin budded onto 12 rootstocks: the citrandarin 'Changsha' mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco) x Poncirus trifoliata 'English Small': the hybrid Rangpur lime (Citrus limonia Osbeck) x 'Swingle' citrumelo (P. trifoliata (L.) Raf. x Citrus paradisi Macfad.); the trifoliates (P. trifoliata (L) Raf)'Rubidoux','FCAV' and 'Flying Dragon'(P. trifoliata var. monstrosa); the mandarins 'Sun Chu Sha Kat'(C. reticulata Blanco) and 'Sunki'(Citrus sunki (Hayata) Hort. ex. Tanaka); the Rangpur limes (C. limonia Osbeck) 'Cravo Limeira' and 'Cravo FCAV';'Carrizo' citrange (Citrus sinensis x P. trifoliata), 'Swingle' citrumelo (P. trifoliata x C. paradisi), and 'Orlando' tangelo (C. paradisi x Citrus tangerina cv. 'Dancy'). The experimental grove was planted in 2001, using a 6 m x 3 m spacing, in a randomized block design. No supplementary irrigation was applied. Fruit yield, canopy volume, and fruit quality were assessed for each rootstock. A cluster multivariate analysis identified three different rootstock pairs with similar effects on plant growth, yield and fruit quality of 'Okitsu' mandarin. The 'Flying Dragon 'trifoliate had a unique effect over the 'Okitsu' trees performance, inducing lower canopy volume and higher yield efficiency and fruit quality, and might be suitable for high-density plantings. The 'Cravo Limeira' and 'Cravo FCAV' Rangpur limes induced early-ripening of fruits, with low fruit quality. 'Sun Chu Sha Kat' and 'Sunki' mandarins and the 'Orlando' tangelo conferred lower yield efficiency and less content of soluble solids for the latter rootstock. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.