, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 1365–1380 | Cite as

The comparison of dormancy dynamics in apple trees grown under temperate and mild winter climates imposes a renewal of classical approaches

  • Gustavo Malagi
  • Marcos Robson Sachet
  • Idemir Citadin
  • Flávio Gilberto Herter
  • Marc Bonhomme
  • Jean-Luc Regnard
  • Jean Michel Legave
Original Paper


Key message

This study is an important contribution to understanding of the dormancy dynamics of apple buds grown in contrasting climates, highlighting the main factors possibly involved in their control and the key role of rehydration.


The aim of this study was to compare the dormancy dynamics and the physiological status of vegetative and floral buds of apple cultivars grown during cold and mild winters. Long shoots bearing vegetative buds and short shoots bearing floral buds were regularly collected during two successive cycles at Marsillargues, France (2011/12, 2012/13) and Palmas, Paraná, Brazil (2012, 2013). The dormant state in vegetative buds was evaluated by the single-node cutting test and in floral buds by the Tabuenca’s test. The first approach highlighted important differences in the dormancy dynamics in both sites, clearly showing that: (1) the entry and the maximum level of dormancy are strongly correlated with cold winter temperatures; (2) the three classical phases of dormancy dynamics are difficult to differentiate under a mild winter climate; and (3) endodormancy, if it actually exists, is very weak and lasts only for a short time. Distinct temporal changes between both sites were found for flower primordia fresh and dry weight. The ecodormant state was linked to significant changes in dry weight and the capacity to quickly reach a water content of around 77 % according to the Tabuenca’s test. High temperatures in Brazil allowed a quick transition between endodormancy and ecodormancy compared to France where the rehydration period was long. The weak endodormancy associated with a quasi-absence of ecodormancy could explain the strong spatio-temporal heterogeneity of budburst and flowering under a mild winter climate. This may be useful for understanding the future phenology of trees under global warming conditions and for the selection of adapted cultivars.


Vegetative buds Endodormancy Ecodormancy Floral primordia Dormancy release Water content 



The authors are grateful to Xavier Crété in France (Centre Expérimental Horticole de Marsillargues) and Geraldo Lovo in Brazil (Maçãs Lovo) for proposing plants to study. In the same way, we thank Leonardo Silva Patto, Céline Bastin and Adnane El Yaacoubi for their contribution to this study. Thanks are also due to the “Comité Français d’Évaluation de la Coopération Universitaire et Scientifique avec le Brésil” (COFECUB-France) and to the “Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior” (CAPES-Brazil) for their financial support. We also thank Pierre-Eric Lauri for having reviewed the article and suggested improvements, and Gail Wagman for editing the English. This study was funded by CAPES/COFECUB cooperation program (Brazil/France) (project number 686/10–2010/2013).

Conflict of interest

The corresponding author has received international scholarship from CAPES/COFECUB cooperation program to conduct part of their studies in France between 2011 and 2012.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gustavo Malagi
    • 1
  • Marcos Robson Sachet
    • 2
  • Idemir Citadin
    • 2
  • Flávio Gilberto Herter
    • 1
  • Marc Bonhomme
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jean-Luc Regnard
    • 5
  • Jean Michel Legave
    • 5
  1. 1.Federal University of Pelotas, Campus Universitário, s/nCapão do LeãoBrazil
  2. 2.Federal Technological University of ParanáPato BrancoBrazil
  3. 3.INRA-UMR 547 PIAFClermont-FerrandFrance
  4. 4.Clermont Université, University Blaise Pascal, UMR 547 PIAFClermont-FerrandFrance
  5. 5.INRA-UMR 1334 AGAPMontpellierFrance

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