, Volume 160, Issue 2, pp 165–173 | Cite as

Morphological and physiological behaviour of sweet cherry ‘somaclone’ HS plants in field

  • Maria Claudia Piagnani
  • Dario Maffi
  • Mara Rossoni
  • Remo Chiozzotto


We reported earlier that somaclonal variant HS (HS), regenerated from Prunus avium `Hedelfinger’ (H) leaf explants, showed reduced apical dominance both in vitro and in vivo. In this report we found that the somaclone HS, showed reduced vegetative vigour as determined by trunk circumference and tree height nevertheless natural architecture of the tree was preserved. HS canopy was less crowded as to compare to H and leaves were shorter with a shorter petiole, they were better spaced out as indicated by internodes length. HS had a significantly thinner cuticle and wax layer compared to H leaves surface. Histological analysis of leaves also showed that HS had thicker mesophyll and palisade the latter composed of more than one layer which, together with increased stomatal density, are distinguishing signs of extensive exposure of leaves to sun. Chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b content did not differ between H and HS, β-carotene content was slightly lower in HS leaves. However no significant differences were found between the two genotypes in terms of net photosynthesis, intercellular CO2 concentration, leaf transpiration and water use efficiency. HS flowered 1-year later than H and number of flowers was reduced. Fruit size, shape, skin colour change during the ripening process and the main parameters of fruit quality as assessed in the wild type and the somaclone were basically the same.


Cuticle Mesophyll Net photosynthesis Stomatal density Tree height Trunk circumference Fruit characteristics 



This research has been supported by MIUR-PRIN project ‘Regulation of development and growth habit of crop plants through genetic engineering: regeneration and transformation of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) cultivars’. The authors wish to thank the ‘C.L.I.F.O.F. Foundation’ (Minoprio, Italy) for maintaining these tissue culture derived cherry trees and Dr. C. Srinivasan (USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, WV) for the critical reading of the manuscript.


  1. Bargioni A (1996) Sweet cherry scions: characteristics of the principal commercial cultivars, breeding objectives and methods. In: Webster AD, Looney NE (eds) Cherries: crop physiology, production and uses. CAB International, Wallingford UKGoogle Scholar
  2. Bassi D (ed) (2003) Growth habits in stone fruit trees. Il Divulgatore, BolognaGoogle Scholar
  3. Bonser SP, Aarssen LW (1994) Plastic allometry in young sugar maple (Acer-saccharum)—adaptive responses to light availability. Am J Bot 81(4):400–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gamage HK, Ashton MS, Singhakumara BMR (2003) Leaf structure of Syzygium spp. (Myrtaceae) in relation to site affinity within a tropical rain forest. Bot J Linnean Soc 141(3):365–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Grbić V (2002) Axillary meristem development. In: McManus MT, Veit B (eds) Meristematic tissues in plant growth and development. Biological sciences series. Sheffield Academic Press, EnglandGoogle Scholar
  6. Jain SM (2001) Tissue culture-derived variation in crop improvement. Euphytica 118(2):153–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Leva AR, Muleo R, Polsinelli L, Petruccelli R, Montagni G (2000) Frangivento olive somaclones originated by somatic embryogenesis show both different polimorphic patterns and growth habit. In: Failla O, Piagnani MC (eds) Proceedings of V Giornate scientifiche SOI, Edizioni Tecnos, Milano Italy, pp 622Google Scholar
  8. Lüttge U, Kluge M, Bauer G (1997) Botanica. Zanichelli, BolognaGoogle Scholar
  9. McMeans O, Skirvin RM, Otterbacher A, Mitiku G (1998) Assessment of tissue culture-derived ‘Gala’ and ‘Royal Gala’ apples (Malus × domestica Borkh.) for somaclonal variation. Euphytica 103(2):251–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Miller SS, Tworkoski T (2003) Regulating vegetative growth in deciduous fruit trees. Plant Growth Regul Soc Am Q 31(1):8–46Google Scholar
  11. Miyazawa S, Livingston NJ, Turpin DH (2006) Stomatal development in new leaves is related to the stomatal conductance of mature leaves in poplar (Populus trichocarpa x P. deltoides). J Exp Bot 57(2):373–380PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Paoletti E, Grulke NE (2005) Does living in elevated CO2 ameliorate tree response to ozone? A review on stomatal responses. Environ Pollut 137(3):483–493PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Piagnani MC, Iacona C, Intrieri MC, Muleo R (2002) A new somaclone of Prunus avium shows diverse growth pattern under different spectral quality of radiation. Biol Plant 45(1):11–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Piagnani MC, Iacona C, Intrieri MC, Muleo R (2005) A Somaclonal variant in ‘Hedelfinger’ sweet cherry. Acta Hortic 667(1):93–99Google Scholar
  15. Porra RJ, Thompson WA, Kriedemann PE (1989) Determination of accurate extinction coefficients and simultaneous equations for assaying chlorophylls a and b extracted with four different solvents: verification of the concentration of chlorophyll standards by atomic absorption spectroscopy. BBA 975:384–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ružić D, Cerovic R, Boskovic R (1991) The assessment of somaclonal variation in sour cherry cv. Sumadinka regenerated from leaf explants. Fruit Sci Rep 18(4):155–162Google Scholar
  17. Wasmund N, Topp I, Schories D (2006) Optimising the storage and extraction of chlorophyll samples. Oceanologia 48(1):125–144Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Claudia Piagnani
    • 1
  • Dario Maffi
    • 2
  • Mara Rossoni
    • 1
  • Remo Chiozzotto
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Crop Production, Fruit Tree UnitUniversity of MilanMilanItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Plant PathologyUniversity of MilanMilanItaly

Personalised recommendations