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Influence of top working on growth and flowering of tea clones

K, Ranjith, Victor, R, Ilango, J
Scientia horticulturae 2018 v.235 pp. 47-52
breeding, clones, field experimentation, flowering, rootstocks, scions, tea
To study the impact of the top working method of grafting on flowering behavior in tea clones and its applicability in tea breeding two field experiments were carried out. Field established plants of the clone UPASI-9 was used as the rootstock in both the experiments. Recently released clones TRF-1, TRF-3 and TRF-4 were used as scions to study the influence of top working on flowering. One-year-old rooted plants of the clones used as scions field planted in the same year served as standards for comparison. Precocious flowering was noticed in all the top worked clones by eight months from grafting. In self- rooted plants of the scion clones only sparse flowering was noticed after eighteen/nineteen months. Similarly, the duration of flowering and total number of flowers were significantly higher in top worked plants compared to self-rooted plants. The top worked scions were significantly more vigorous than the corresponding self-rooted plants, except TRF-3. In the second experiment by top working the scions of two different clones on the same rootstock; four sets of combinations were tried. The clone TRF-4 was used as one scion in all the four sets and the clones TRF-1, SA-6, Yabukita and SMP-1 served as the other scions in each set. Early flowering as well as synchronization of flowering was observed in both the scion clones in three of the tested pairs. However, the growth and flowering of the common scion clone TRF-4 varied significantly in each set depending on the other clone used as a scion.