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Tetraploid Carrizo citrange rootstock (Citrus sinensis Osb.×Poncirus trifoliata L. Raf.) enhances natural chilling stress tolerance of common clementine (Citrus clementina Hort. ex Tan)

Julie Oustric, Raphaël Morillon, François Luro, Stéphane Herbette, Radia Lourkisti, Jean Giannettini, Liliane Berti, Jérémie Santini
Journal of plant physiology 2017 v.214 pp. 108-115
Citroncirus webberi, Citrus clementina, Citrus sinensis, ascorbate peroxidase, catalase, chlorophyll, clementines, cold stress, cold tolerance, crops, diploidy, electrolytes, fluorescence, geographical distribution, glutathione dehydrogenase (ascorbate), hydrogen peroxide, malondialdehyde, photosynthesis, proline, rootstocks, scions, seedlings, starch, stomatal conductance, stress tolerance, superoxide dismutase, temperature, tetraploidy, Mediterranean region
Low temperatures can disturb the development, growth and geographic distribution of plants, particularly cold-sensitive plants in the Mediterranean area, where temperatures can reach seasonally low levels. In citrus crops, scion/rootstock combinations are used to improve fruit production and quality, and increase tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. In the last decade, several studies have shown that tetraploid citrus seedlings or rootstocks are more tolerant to abiotic stress than their respective diploid. The objective of this study was to test whether the use of tetraploid rootstocks can improve the chilling tolerance of the scion. We compared physiological and biochemical responses to low seasonal temperatures of common Clementine (Citrus sinensis Osb.×Poncirus trifoliata L. Raf.) grafted on diploid and tetraploid Carrizo citrange rootstocks, named C/2xCC and C/4xCC, respectively. During the coldest months, C/4xCC showed a smaller decrease in net photosynthesis (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs), chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm), and starch levels, and lower levels of malondialdehyde and electrolyte leakage than C/2xCC. Specific activities of catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR) were higher in C/4xCC during the cold period, whereas chlorophyll, proline, ascorbate and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity did not vary significantly between C/4xCC and C/2xCC throughout the study period. Taken together, these results demonstrate that tetraploid Carrizo citrange rootstock improves the chilling tolerance of common clementine (scion) thanks to a part of the antioxidant system.