, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 199-205

Identification and quantitation by GC-MS of zeatin and zeatin riboside in xylem sap from rootstock and scion of grafted apple trees

Abstract

Zeatin and zeatin riboside were identified by full-scan gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) in xylem sap of clonal apple rootstocks (M.27, M.9 and MM.106). These rootstocks exhibit a wide range of control over tree size when grafted to a common scion. The concentrations of zeatin and zeatin riboside were measured by GC-MS selected ion monitoring (SIM) in shoot xylem sap and root pressure exudate obtained from these rootstocks and from trees of ‘Fiesta’ scion grafted onto the rootstocks. Zeatin was the predominant cytokinin in xylem sap from the dwarfing rootstocks, M.27 and M.9, while zeatin riboside was the predominant cytokinin in xylem sap from the more invigorating rootstock MM.106. Cytokinin concentrations (ng ml−1) in root pressure exudate and shoot xylem sap, (i.e. from above the graft union in composite trees), increased with increasing vigour of the rootstock, irrespective of whether the plants were non-grafted rootstocks, or were composite plants of ‘Fiesta’ scion grafted onto the rootstocks. Cytokinin content (ng shoot−1) of shoot sap differed with rootstock; the more invigorating (MM.106) had greater amounts of cytokinins than the more dwarfing (M.9 and M.27) rootstocks. These results are discussed in relation to possible influences of roots on the growth of shoots via cytokinin supplies in the xylem sap.