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Characterization of water deficit tolerance of Poncirus trifoliata genotypes related to diversity

Ben Yahmed J., Costantino G., Ben Mimoun M., Talon M., Ollitrault P., 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. 1379-1384. (Acta Horticulturae, 1065). International Citrus Congress: Citrus and Health. 12, 2012-11-18/2012-11-23, Valence (Espagne).

Rootstock provides better adaptation to biotic and abiotic constraints. Poncirus and its hybrids are widely used since they are tolerant to Citrus Tristeza Virus. However, when grafted, most of them are considered to be sensitive to salinity and water deficit. Diversity does exist within the Poncirus trifoliata specie but little is known regarding the behaviour variability of genotypes to abiotic constraints. The citrus diversity of 72 P. trifoliata genotypes was investigated using SSR markers. Two mayor genetic groups were clearly identified. Five genotypes, belonging to each genetic group, were then selected to investigate their properties of tolerance to water deficit. Water deficit was applied by withdrawing irrigation for 4 weeks. Physiological parameters such leaf stomatal conductance and quantum yield of PSII electron transport, soil water potential, leaf osmotic pressure and transpiration were estimated. Among genotypes, we observed that some genotypes such as' Rubidoux' were clearly more tolerant to water deficit than others such as 'Pomeroy'. Interestingly, the genotypes that were sensitive belonged to one genetic group and the tolerant ones belonged to the other group. Therefore, it sounds that among the Poncirus genus, it is possible to select genotypes as parent in breeding programs, which are more tolerant to water deficit.

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