Fruit set dependence on carbohydrate availability in citrus trees
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We generated source-sink imbalances by defoliation and sucrose supplementation by stem injection, to investigate effects of carbohydrate availability on fruitlet growth and abscission in cv. Okitsu of Satsuma mandarins (Citrus unshiu (Mak.) Marc.). Partial defoliation promoted fruitlet abscission, whereas sucrose supplementation increased citrus fruit set by more than 10%. Moreover, when applied together, sucrose supplementation counteracted the effect of partial defoliation on fruit set. When sucrose was supplied continuously from flowering until harvest, it increased the concentrations of soluble and insoluble sugars in fruits. We conclude that fruit set in citrus is highly dependent on carbohydrate availability.