Free and conjugated IAA levels were determined in wood, bark and cambial sap of M.9, M.26 and MM.106 apple rootstock genotypes differing in growth vigour. The measurements were done on May 15th, June 15th and July 15th. The level of free IAA in bark and wood of the tested trees varied from 27.0 to 52.7 ng·g−1 f.w. while the conjugated hormone content averaged 3–5 times higher. In the bark and wood samples, the differences in auxin content between rootstock genotypes and the time of stem harvesting were insignificant. The level of free IAA in cambial sap was on average 10 to 20 times higher than in both bark and wood tissues, while the conjugated hormone level varied from none (below detection limit) to 37 ng·g−1 f.w. Content of free IAA level in cambial sap from dwarf M.9 rootstock was significantly lower than that in either of the more vigorous genotypes. In both vigorous rootstocks IAA level in cambial sap remained at a similar level at all sampling dates but M.9 cambial sap showed a trend towards decreasing auxin content later in the growing season.
apple rootstocks growth vigour auxin level cambial sap wood bark