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Abscission study during citrus fruit maturation in Corsica: unfavorable environmental conditions for fruit shedding

Khefifi H., Ben Mimoun M., Morillon R., Luro F.. 2015. In : Navarro Luis (ed.), Sabater-Muñoz Beatriz (ed.), Moreno Pedro (ed.), Peña Leandro (ed.). Proceedings of the XIIth International Citrus Congress: International Society of Citriculture. Leuven : ISHS, p. 1197-1201. (Acta Horticulturae, 1065). International Citrus Congress: Citrus and Health. 12, 2012-11-18/2012-11-23, Valence (Espagne).

Citrus fruit development and ripening are complex processes involving physiological and biochemical changes that are under hormonal, nutritional and environmental control. One of the most evident phenomena in late maturation is shedding of ripe fruit. A previous study on sweet orange abscission supposed that fruit shedding was related to the increase of sugars content of pulp juice. To investigate this potential relationship between fruit abscission and internal maturity parameters we investigated the fruit maturity process of 10 mandarin x clementine hybrids and 9 commercial sweet orange varieties with different maturity time. Morphological and biochemical analyses (acidity, total soluble solids, fruit weight thickness of the flavedo, thickness of the peduncle and external color) were carried out on fruit sets of the different varieties during the maturation process, from December to June. The abscission initiation was evaluated by measuring the force required to detach the fruit of the peduncle. Analysis showed that under our local conditions, abscission was generally not expressed even though fruit maturation was evolving. Therefore, we suppose that even though the local conditions have an important effect, abscission of citrus fruit also results from environmental-genotype interactions. Moreover, evolution of abscission and fruit parameters are not correlated, suggesting the independence in the processing of maturation and abscission.

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