Published by: Atmosphere
Abstract: The general aim of this research was to determine whether the cherry root cambium possesses similar water-stress adaptation abilities as the scion. Specifically, this study aimed to determine whether there is a shift in root xylem structure due to precipitation fluctuations and temperature increase during the growing season in two cherry species. Oblačinska sour cherry and European ground cherry roots with secondary structure were anatomically surveyed in detail, and correlated with meteorological conditions occurring during the vegetation when the roots were formed. Under environmental signals, both investigated species altered their radial root growth imprinting stops and starts in a cambial activity that resulted in the occurrence of intra-annual false growth rings. Changing environmental conditions triggered the shifts of large and small vessels throughout the false growth rings, but their size seemed to be mainly genetically controlled. Taking into consideration all the above, genotypes with moderate vessel lumen area—lesser or around 1200 μm2 in the inner zone, as well as no greater than 1500 μm2 in the outer zone—are presumed to be both size-controlling and stable upon the drought events. Thus, further field trials will be focused on the SV2 European ground cherry genotype, and OV13, OV32, and OV34 Oblačinska sour cherry genotypes.