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Scientia Agricola

On-line version ISSN 1678-992X


STUCHI, Eduardo Sanches et al. Field performance of "marsh seedless" grapefruit on trifoliate orange inoculated with viroids in Brazil. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2007, vol.64, n.6, pp.582-588. ISSN 1678-992X.

Some viroids reduce citrus tree growth and may be used for tree size control aiming the establishment of orchards with close tree spacing that may provide higher productivity than conventional ones. To study the effects of citrus viroids inoculation on vegetative growth, yield and fruit quality of 'Marsh Seedless' grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) grafted on trifoliate orange [Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.], an experiment was set up in January 1991, in Bebedouro, São Paulo State, Brazil. The experimental design was randomized blocks with four treatments with two plants per plot: viroid isolates Citrus Exocortis Viroid (CEVd) + Hop stunt viroid (HSVd - CVd-II, a non cachexia variant) + Citrus III viroid (CVd-III) and Hop stunt viroid (HSVd - CVd-II, a non cachexia variant) + Citrus III viroid (CVd-III) and controls: two healthy buds (control), and no grafting (absolute control). Inoculation was done in the field, six months after planting by bud grafting. Both isolates reduced tree growth (trunk diameter, plant height, canopy diameter and volume). Trees not inoculated yielded better (average of eleven harvests) than inoculated ones but the productivity was the same after 150 months. Fruit quality was affected by viroids inoculation but not in a restrictive way. The use of such severe dwarfing isolates for high density plantings of grapefruit on trifoliate orange rootstock is not recommended.

Keywords : growth; yield; fruit quality; exocortis; dwarfing.

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