Tetraploid Citrumelo 4475 rootstocks improve diploid common clementine tolerance to long-term nutrient deficiency
Nutrient deficiency alters growth and the production of high-quality nutritious food. In Citrus crops, rootstock technologies have become a key tool for enhancing tolerance to abiotic stress. The use of doubled diploid rootstocks can improve adaptation to lower nutrient inputs. This study investigated leaf structure and ultrastructure and physiological and biochemical parameters of diploid common clementine scions (C) grafted on diploid (2x) and doubled diploid (4x) Carrizo citrange (C/CC2x and C/CC4x) and Citrumelo 4475 (C/CM2x and C/CM4x) rootstocks under optimal fertigation and after 7 months of nutrient deficiency. Rootstock ploidy level had no impact on structure but induced changes in the number and/or size of cells and some cell components of 2x common clementine leaves under optimal nutrition. Rootstock ploidy level did not modify gas exchanges in Carrizo citrange but induced a reduction in the leaf net photosynthetic rate in Citrumelo 4475. By assessing foliar damage, changes in photosynthetic processes and malondialdehyde accumulation, we found that C/CM4x were less affected by nutrient deficiency than the other scion/rootstock combinations. Their greater tolerance to nutrient deficiency was probably due to the better performance of the enzyme-based antioxidant system. Nutrient deficiency had similar impacts on C/CC2x and C/CC4x. Tolerance to nutrient deficiency can therefore be improved by rootstock polyploidy but remains dependent on the rootstock genotype.
Nutrient deficiency, Citrumelo 4475, C/CC2x, C/CC4x