|Not a member? Sign up now!|
A former Massey horticultural student and his supervisors have won a major international award.
PhD graduate Dr Ben van Hooijdonk, Dr David Woolley and Emeritus Professor Ian Warrington, together with Dr Stuart Tustin from Plant and Food Research, were presented with the Outstanding Fruit Publication Award at the annual conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science last week in Miami.
The award recognises the best fruit science paper published in that society’s journal for 2011.
The research investigated the mechanisms by which dwarfing apple rootstocks control vigour of grafted apple trees
An understanding of this mechanism has eluded plant scientists for the past 100 years but the collaborative research between Massey University and Plant & Food Research has shown that tree dwarfing results from interactions of key plant hormones that are separately produced in the shoots and roots of the tree.
Controlling tree size in commercial apple orchards is critical to minimising pruning, maximising fruit quality and optimising the use of labour. The research discovery will aid in the selection of improved rootstocks for apple and guide management practices such as winter pruning.