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Evaluation of rootstocks' tolerance to irrigation with reclaimed sewage water: A rapid response of plum trees (Prunus Domestica L.) to phytotoxicity of boron and chloride

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Plant-damaging concentrations of B and Cl in treated effluents used for irrigation could adversely affect performance of plum (Prunus domestica L.) trees. Use of rootstocks that both tolerate the damaging ingredients of the sewage water and impart appropriate horticultural traits might reduce the damage. Rootstocks' responses to the damaging levels of Cl and B present in the effluents may appear only after long-term exposure, e.g., years of exposure to these low quality irrigation water, and selection projects in the field are consequently long-term endeavors. In the present project we have applied a short-term screening procedure for identification of sensitive rootstocks by exposing the plants to very high levels of B and Cl in concentrations. Commercial plum rootstocks of ‘GF 677’, ‘Hansen 536’, ‘Myran’, ‘S.2729’, ‘Mariana’, ‘Citation’, and ‘Ferciana’ were grafted with the plum scion ‘Sungold’. The trees were grown in perlite medium in pots and were treated with B (at 5 or 2 ppm), Cl (at 500 ppm, as NaCl), and Cl (at 500 ppm) plus B (at 2 ppm) in fresh irrigation water. The damage to leaves was assessed visually, and B and Cl in leaves were evaluated three times during the first year. The rootstocks were ranked according to their tolerance to each treatment, for each response parameter, and for each time of assessment. The rankings of tolerance at the three times of measurement were significantly intercorrelated. Most of the rootstocks were ranked quite similarly in the correlation between the parameters of leaf accumulation of Cl and B; the exception was ‘S.2729’, which was more tolerant to Cl accumulation than to B accumulation. ‘Mariana’ and ‘Myran’ appeared more tolerant according to the leaf B accumulation parameter than according to the leaf damage parameter. ‘Mariana’ was ranked more tolerant and ‘Hansen’ more sensitive by the leaf Cl accumulation parameter than by the leaf damage parameter. When all the parameters and times of measurement were considered, ‘Fersiana’ was significantly the most tolerant and ‘Citation’ was significantly the most sensitive of the rootstocks to B and Cl phytotoxicity.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Plant Sciences, The Volcani Center, Agricultural Research Organization


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