A preliminary evaluation of the effects of pollinator enhancement and gibberellins on the fruit set and fruit shape of ‘Conference’ pears – Short Communication

https://doi.org/10.17221/123/2019-HORTSCICitation:

Smessaert J., van Kemenade G., Arnoys A., Honnay O., Keulemans W. (2020): A preliminary evaluation of the effects of pollinator enhancement and gibberellins on the fruit set and fruit shape of ‘Conference’ pears – Short Communication. Hort. Sci. (Prague), 47: 211–216.

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‘Conference’ (Pyrus communis L.) is a self-incompatible cultivar, although it can also set fruit parthenocarpically. Stimulating parthenocarpy through gibberellin (GA) applications increases the fruit set, but it may also negatively affect the fruit size and shape. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a bumblebee (BB) amendment in combination with a GA treatment on the fruit set and fruit shape of ‘Conference’ pears. In the first experiment, we applied three treatments (GA, GA + BB & control) in a ‘Conference’ monoculture. In the second experiment, we applied two treatments (GA & GA + BB) in a ‘Conference’ orchard inter-planted with ‘Concorde’ as pollinizer trees. Both experiments showed that the GA application and bumblebee supplementation did not affect the fruit set. However, the BB treatment resulted in significantly higher amounts of normally shaped pears. Trees closer to the bumblebee hive had more normal shaped pears than trees further away.

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