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Modern apple orchard systems should guarantee homogeneity of fruit internal and external qualities and fruit maturity parameters. However, when orchards reach productive age, a variation of these parameters takes place and mostly it is related to uneven light distribution within the tree canopy. The aim of the study was to evaluate the canopy position’s effect on fruit internal and external quality parameters. This is the first study where all the main fruit quality and maturation parameters were evaluated on the same trees and were related to the light conditions and photosynthetic parameters. Four fruit positions were tested: top of the apple tree, lower inside part of the canopy, and east and west sides of the apple tree. Fruit quality variability was significant for fruit size, blush, colour indices, total sugar content, dry matter concentration, accumulation of secondary metabolites and radical scavenging activity. Fruit position in the canopy did not affect flesh firmness and fruit maturity parameters such as the starch index, Streif index and respiration rate. At the Lithuanian geographical location (55°60′ N), significantly, the highest fruit quality was achieved at the top of the apple tree. The tendency was established that apple fruits from the west side of the canopy have better fruit quality than from the east side and it could be related to better light conditions at the west side of the tree. Inside the canopy, fruits were distinguished only by the higher accumulation of triterpenic compounds and higher content of malic acid. Light is a main factor of fruit quality variation, thus all orchard management practices, including narrow two-dimensional tree canopies and reflecting ground covers which improve light penetration through the tree canopy, should be applied.

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Nutrient uptake and transport depend on the root system of a tree. Various apple rootstock genotypes may interact fruit tree nutrition. In 2017, two multi-location apple rootstock trials were established at 16 sites in 12 European countries. The evaluations are performed by members of the EUFRIN (European Fruit Research Institute Network) Apple & Pear Variety & Rootstock Testing Working Group. Following rootstocks are included in the tests: G.11, G.41, G.202 and G.935 (US), EM_01, EM_02, EM_03, EM_04, EM_05 and EM_06 (UK), 62-396-B10® (Russia), P 67 (Poland), NZ-A, NZ-B, NZ-C and NZ-D (New Zealand) and Cepiland-Pajam®2 as control. The effect of rootstocks on the mineral content of leaf and fruit was studied at the Institute of Horticulture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry in 2019–2020. The leaf and fruit mineral concentration of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and leaf mineral content of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and boron (B) were measured. Significant rootstock effect was established on leaf P, Mg, Zn, Mn, B, and fruit Ca and Mg content. Current research reveals differences among rootstocks and their capacity to absorb separate minerals and enables creation of rootstock specific nutrition management.

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The plant pomological characteristics and physiological behaviors of genotypes in modern apple cultivation could be different depending on the use of rootstock, changing growth ecology and application of biological control agents. The aim of this research was to determine the effects of rhizobacteria application on leaf and fruit nutrient contents in different apple scion–rootstock combinations. This study was carried out with seven standard cultivars (Scarlet Spur, Red Chief, Fuji, Jeromine, Galaxy Gala, Granny Smith, and Golden Reinders) budded on M.9 and MM.106 rootstocks. In the experiment, trees were sprayed by a nitrogen + phosphorus solvent rhizobacteria three times, with an interval of 15 days in the spring period. The effect of rhizobacteria application on leaf and fruit nutrient contents was statistically significant and provided generally significant positive contributions, except for leaf Mg content. Comparing both rootstocks, the positive effect of bacterial application was higher on the M.9 rootstock for leaf N and B content and fruit N and Fe content, and on the MM.106 rootstock for other nutrient content. While the effects of bacterial application on the basis of cultivars were generally positive, the highest positive contribution was made in leaf P content (10.7%) and fruit Mn content (32.1%) of the Fuji cultivar. Considering the total increase in nutrients in scion–rootstocks combination, rhizobacteria application had a positive effect on the leaf nutrient contents in Golden Reinders/MM.106, but not leaf K content. The highest increases in leaves of scion-rootstock combinations were determined as 4.0% in N content in Granny Smith/M.9, 14.1% in P content in Scarlet Spur/MM.106, 7.1% in K content in Fuji/MM.106, 4.4% in Ca content in Jeromine/M.9, and 14.0% in Mg content in Granny Smith/MM.106. The highest increase in fruit nutrient contents was between 4.9% (N content) and 13.5% (Ca content) for macro elements, and between 9.5% (Cu content) and 41.8% (Mn content) for microelements. The results of the present study may provide significant leads for further studies on this subject.

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In 2017, two multi-location apple rootstock trials were established at 16 sites in 12 European countries. The evaluations are performed by members of the EUFRIN (European Fruit Research Institute Network) Apple & Pear Variety & Rootstock Testing Working Group. Two separate trials were arranged, grouping rootstocks into dwarf and semi-dwarf rootstocks according to the expected vigour; ‘Galaval’ was used as scion cultivar. The trial of dwarf rootstocks includes ‘G.11’ and ‘G.41’ (US), ‘EM_02’, ‘EM_03’, ‘EM_04’, ‘EM_05’ and ‘EM_06’ (UK), ‘62-396-B10®‘ (Russia), ‘P 67’ (Poland), ‘PFR4’ and ‘PFR5’ (New Zealand) and ‘Cepiland-Pajam®2’ as control. The trial of semi-dwarf rootstocks includes ‘G.202’ and ‘G.935’ (US), ‘PFR1’ and ‘PFR3’ (New Zealand), ‘EM_01’ (UK) and ‘G.11’ as a control for both trials. Part of the rootstocks (from dwarf and semi-dwarf rootstock trials) was planted in replanting conditions to test their tolerance to apple replant disease. All test trees came from the same nursery, and a common standardised evaluation protocol was used. Based on preliminary results averaged across sites, dwarf rootstocks can be ranked in terms of vigour in the following order: ‘EM_04’ < ‘EM_03’, ‘EM_05’ < ‘62-396-B10®’, ‘P 67’, ‘EM_02’, ‘G.11’ < ‘G.41’, ‘Cepiland-Pajam®2’ < ‘EM_06’, ‘PFR4’ < ‘PFR5’. On average, semi-dwarf rootstocks can be ranked in terms of vigour in the following order: ‘G11’ < ‘G.935’, ‘G.202’ < ‘PFR3’, ‘EM_01’ < ‘PFR1’. The highest cumulative yield in the young orchard was registered for trees on ‘PFR5’, ‘PFR4’, ‘G.11’, ‘G.41’, ‘Cepiland-Pajam®2’ and ‘EM_02’, while the lowest production was found for trees on ‘EM_04’. In the group of semi-dwarf rootstocks, the highest yield was on ‘PFR3’, ‘G.935’ and ‘PFR1’. Rootstocks also had a significant effect on fruit weight and fruit quality parameters. Results from the young orchards revealed interactions between sites and rootstock, potentially leading to site-specific rootstock choice based on the combination of rootstock, soil conditions and climate.

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Apple cultivars are one of the main factors setting the composition of bioactive compounds in apples and the quality of the fruit. However, research has been providing increasing amounts of data on the influence of rootstocks on the variations in the composition of bioactive compounds in apples. The aim of the study was to determine the influence of rootstocks on the changes in the qualitative and quantitative composition of phenolic compounds and their antioxidant activity in vitro in apple flesh and peel. HPLC analyses of phenolic compounds in apple samples were performed. The rootstock–scion combination had a significant effect on the composition and antioxidant activity of phenolic compounds in apple samples. Depending on the rootstock, the total content of phenolic compounds in apple flesh of the ‘Galaval’ cultivar could vary by 2.9 times, and in the peel by up to 90%. The genotype of the rootstock resulted in the highest variation in total flavan-3-ol content in apple flesh—by as much as 4.3 times—while the total content of flavonols varied by 2.1 times. In apple peel, on the contrary, the greatest variation was recorded for the total flavonol content (by 4.4 times), and the total flavan-3-ol content varied the least (by 1.8 times). A proper match of a cultivar and a rootstock can program a fruit tree to grow larger amounts of higher-quality, antioxidant-rich, and high-nutrition-value fruit.

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The study was performed with apple cultivar ‘Rubin’ grafted onto dwarf ‘P60’ rootstock at the experimental orchard of the Institute of Horticulture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, between 2016 and 2020. The orchard was planted in 2010. Planting distances were 1.25×3.5 m. Seven treatments of tree vigour control were established, including combinations of mechanical pruning, tree trunk incision and application of prohexadione-calcium (Pro-Ca). The strongest growth was recorded for the control treatment, where slender spindle trees were maintained manually. Significantly, the shortest shoots grew where mechanical pruning was applied. A tendency for higher yield was recorded for mechanical pruning treatments. Trunk incision and summer pruning exhibited significantly lower fruit mean weight and diameter. Multiple applications of Pro-Ca increased fruit weight. Less colored fruits were obtained for mechanical pruning treatments

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Modern apple growing requires relatively often orchard replacement due to release of superior cultivars or introduction of new growing technologies. Most of intensive apples orchards are established in the same site where apple trees were cultivated for a long period. Continuous cultivation of the same crop causes stress to plants and often leads to abnormal plant development and decreased productivity what is known as apple replant disease (ARD). Due to ban of chemical soil disinfection, other strategies how to overcome ARD must be developed. Rootstock is becoming to be one of the most important factors to solve this problem and one of the targets of new rootstock breeding programs is rootstock resistance or tolerance to ARD. Different origin and genetic background of rootstocks led to suggest that their adaptiveness to replanted soil will be different. EUFRIN (European fruit research institutes network) Apple and pear cultivar and rootstock testing group established replant trials in several European countries where new apple rootstocks from USA, Great Britain, Poland and Russia are tested. Current paper presents results of the trial performed at the Institute of Horticulture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry in 2017-2021. On average of all rootstocks apple trees planted in the fresh soil were by 38% more vigorous and gave 71% higher yield. After the evaluation of tree growth and productivity characters rootstock G.41 was the most tolerant to ARD. Trees on rootstocks G.935, Cepiland-Pajam®2 and AR 295-6 had significantly lower yields in replant soil, while tree growth was most stunted on B.10 and AR 295-6.

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Impact of orchard management technologies on apple fruit internal quality was tested in several trials performed at the Institute of Horticulture, Lithuanian Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry during 2010-2019. Studies were focused mainly on the research of bioactive compounds: triterpenes and phenols. Studies included rootstocks, crop load regulation, planting distances, fruit position in the tree crown, geographical locations, regulation of tree vegetative growth by root pruning, trunk incision and prohexadione-calcium. ‘Auksis’ apple fruits on P 67 rootstock and ‘Ligol’ on P 61 and P 22 had the highest total phenol content, while the lowest total phenol content of both tested cultivars was recorded on M.9 and P 62 rootstocks. Increasing crop load on the tree led to significant increase of phenols and triterpenes. Higher fruit triterpene concentration was recorded on denser planted trees. Root pruning increased accumulation of phenols, while by the application of prohexadione-calcium the accumulation of phenols decreased significantly. Lower triterpene concentration was recorded when tree growth was controlled by trunk incision. Fruits from the top of the tree accumulated significantly higher amount of phenolic compounds, whereas fruits inside the tree crown were characterized by the highest amount of triterpene compounds. Colder climate during the vegetation and shorter vegetation period resulted in significantly higher accumulation of phenolic and triterpene compounds in apples grown in Estonia comparing to fruits grown in Poland. New scientific results on the impact of modern technologies on the changes of internal fruit quality parameters could increase consumption of apples.

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The circular economy concept promotes the recycling of agricultural waste. This study was aimed at investigating the effects of cattle horn shavings on apple tree nitrogen nutrition. Ligol apple trees on P 60 rootstock were the object of the study. The experiment was conducted in the experimental orchard of the Institute of Horticulture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, from 2015 to 2018. Two fertiliser rates were tested: 50 and 100 kg/ha N. Horn shavings (14.1% N) were applied at the end of autumn or at the beginning of vegetation in the spring and in one treatment 100 kg/ha N rate was divided into two equal parts and applied both in autumn and spring. The effects of the horn shavings were compared with the effects of ammonium nitrate (34.4% N) and the unfertilised treatment. The lowest mineral nitrogen content was found in the unfertilised orchard soil and the soil fertilised with horn shavings in the spring at 50 kg/ha N equivalent. In all other cases, the fertilisers increased the soil’s mineral nitrogen content. The lowest leaf nitrogen content was found in apple trees that grew in the unfertilised orchard soil or soil fertilised in the spring with 50 kg/ha N of horn shavings (1.58–2.13%). In other cases, leaf nitrogen content was higher (1.77–2.17%). The apple trees with the lowest leaf nitrogen content produced the smallest average yield (34.5–36.6 t/ha). The highest yield was recorded from fruit trees fertilised with 50 kg/ha N of ammonium nitrate applied in spring or horn shavings applied in autumn (42.4 and 41.4 t/ha, respectively). The influence of horn shavings on the other studied parameters was similar to that of ammonium nitrate. Horn shavings, like nitrogen fertiliser, could facilitate nitrogen nutrition management in apple trees, especially in organic orchards, where the use of synthetic fertilisers is prohibited.

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Winter hardiness is the main factor limiting pear growing and the use of quince rootstocks under northeastern European climate conditions. Therefore, several cultivar and rootstock trials were performed from 1997 until 2015 at the Institute of Horticulture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry. Investigations of pear cultivars were conducted in 2005-2015. Twelve cultivars on QS1 rootstock were tested with the goal of finding an optimal replacement for cultivar ‘Conference’, which is not sufficiently winter hardy in the Baltic countries. The cultivar ‘Mramornaja’ showed desirable characteristics based on winter hardiness, productivity and fruit quality. Rootstock breeding was based on a winter hardy Cydonia × oblonga population and resulted in 3 registered rootstocks of K series in Lithuania. K series rootstocks were compared with QMA, QMC, Sydo, QS1, and Pyrus × communis. According to tree growth control and productivity only K11 was equal to QMA and the same as QS1. Other rootstock testing included Cydonia and Pyrus clonal and seedling rootstocks. ‘Pyrodwarf’ and OH×F333 rootstocks were too vigorous. QMC, Sydo and BA29 exhibited poor winter hardiness. The search for both pear cultivars and rootstocks adapted to northeastern European climatic conditions must be continued.

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In total 14 cherry cultivars and advanced selections released by the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre (PARC-Summerland), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada were tested at NIBIO Ullensvang during 2010-2016. The scions were grafted on the dwarfing Gisela 5 rootstock and planted in high tunnels. Main phenological, vegetative growth and productivity characteristics and fruit quality parameters were evaluated and detailed information about the different cultivars and selections are presented. After comprehensive studies the cultivars ‘SPC 108’ and ‘Starblush’ are recommended for commercial fruit growing in Norway in addition to the main cultivar ‘Lapins’. ‘SPC 107’ is recommended for home gardens. The selection SPC 263 and ‘Sofia’ showed outstanding fruit quality parameters, but had low productivity due to stunted tree growth. Grafting on more vigorous rootstocks than Gisela 5 is recommended.

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Lonicera caerulea L. is an early fruit-bearing plant that originates from harsh environments. Raw materials contain a body of different phenolic origin compounds that determine the multidirectional antioxidant and pharmacological activities. The aim of this study was to comprehensively evaluate the phenolic composition, antioxidant capacities, vegetative, pomological, and sensory properties and their interrelations of selected L. caerulea cultivars, namely ‘Amphora’, ‘Wojtek’, ‘Iga’, ’Leningradskij Velikan’, ‘Nimfa’, ‘Indigo Gem’, ‘Tundra’, ‘Tola’, and fruit powders. Combined chromatographic systems were applied for the qualitative and quantitative profiling of 23 constituents belonging to the classes of anthocyanins, flavonols, flavones, proanthocyanidins, and phenolic acids. The determined markers of phytochemical profiles were cyanidin-3-glucoside, rutin, chlorogenic, and 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid. Anthocyanins and the predominant compound, cyanidin-3-glucoside, were the determinants of antioxidant activity. Cultivars ‘Amphora’, ‘Indigo Gem’, and ‘Tundra’ contained the greatest total amounts of identified phenolic compounds. Phenotypic characterization revealed the superiority of cultivars ‘Wojtek’ and ’Tundra’ compared to other cultivars, although ’Wojtek’ had low phenolic content and antioxidant activity and ’Tundra’ got lower sensory evaluation scores. Coupling the results of phenotypic and phytochemical characterization, cultivar ‘Tundra’ could be suitable for commercial plantations.

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The interest in old cultivars of apple trees, their fruit and processed products is growing worldwide. Studies on the qualitative and quantitative composition of biological compounds are important for the evaluation of the quality and nutritional properties of apple fruit. A variation in the qualitative and quantitative composition of triterpenic compounds was found in the fruit of apple cultivars included in the collection of National Plant Genetic Resources. A high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed that the fruit of the cultivar ‘Birutės pepinas’ had the highest total amount (5.17 ± 0.86 mg g-1) of triterpenic compounds. Higher total amounts of triterpenic compounds were also found in the fruit of apple cultivars ‘Tabokinė’ and ‘Panemunės baltasis’ (3.72 ± 0.57 and 4.25 ± 0.17 mg g-1, respectively). By the quantitative composition, triterpenic compounds in apple fruit were ranked in the following order: ursolic acid > oleanolic acid > corosolic acid > betulinic acid. The old apple cultivars ‘Birutės pepinas’, ‘Panemunės baltasis’ and ‘Tabokinė’ included in the collection of National Plant Genetic Resources have a potential for cultivation in industrial orchards and for the use of their apples, and processed apple products as natural functional foods rich in triterpenic compounds and adapted for medical purposes, including the prevention of various diseases. Key words: apple, old cultivars, triterpenic compounds.

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NIBIO Ullensvang har i perioden 2012-2019 gjennomført rettleiingsprøving av samla 11 eplesortar og -seleksjonar. Føremålet var å skaffa norske fruktdyrkarar sortar som gjev stor avling med kvalitetsfrukt og er tilpassa det norske klimaet. Sortane vart poda på den svaktveksande grunnstamma M9. Pomologiske karakterar og fruktkvalitet vart vurderte og detaljert informasjon om dei ulike sortane er gjeve i denne rapporten. Sortane Asfari og Elstar Boerekamp Excellent- Star® vert tilrådde til kommersiell fruktdyrking. Sorten Tiara kan dyrkast til jus og som dekorasjonsfrukt sidan den har raudt fruktkjøt. Sorten Pinova bør prøvast vidare. På grunn av svak fruktkvalitet og sein modning er fylgjande sortar og utval ikkje tilrådde for dyrking under norske tilhøve: 1/05, 58/06, A 75, Galmac, Jugala, Crimson Crisp og Elshof.

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Nibio Ullensvang har i perioden 2008-2017 gjennomført rettleiingsprøving av samla 20 eplesortar og -seleksjonar. Føremålet var å skaffa norske fruktdyrkarar sortar som gjev stor avling med kvalitetsfrukt og er tilpassa det norske klimaet. Sortane vart poda på den svaktveksande grunnstamma M9. Pomologiske karakterar og fruktkvalitet vart vurderte og detaljert informasjon om dei ulike sortane er gjeve i denne rapporten. Sortane Rubinstep, Your Choice og Aroma ‘Fagravoll’ vert tilrådde til kommersiell fruktdyrking. Sorten Blyberg er tilrådd for småhagebruket medan sortane Lotos og Wellant bør prøvast vidare. På grunn av svak fruktkvalitet og sein modning er fylgjande sortar og utval ikkje tilrådde for dyrking under norske tilhøve: L II 3/05-09, Sonja, L II 1/08-09, NA 42-51, MA982 06059, Ritt Bjerregaard, Dalili Ambassy, Initial, Gala Must, Topas, Greenstar og Kanzi.

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The effect of tree growth-control technologies on apple tree vegetative development, productivity and fruit quality was investigated with apple cultivar ‘Rubin’ on dwarf rootstock P 60 at the Institute of Horticulture, Lithuanian Re-search Centre for Agriculture and Forestry in 2015–2018. Eight treatments were established combining tree trunk incision by chainsaw before flowering, application of prohexadione-calcium in different dose and time, summer pruning in August and root pruning before flowering. Root pruning from both sides of the tree significantly reduced tree trunk diameter, shoot length and pruning weights but at the same time reduced fruit weight. It increased tree productivity and enhanced fruit colouring. Two applications of prohexadione-calcium significantly reduced mean shoot length and increased average fruit weight. Summer pruning had a positive impact on fruit colouring. Trunk incisions enhanced leaf P, K and Fe content. Pro-Ca increased leaf Ca content. Trees root pruned from both sides had one of the lowest contents of all tested minerals. All tree growth-control technologies had a positive impact on tree productivity , fruit quality and bearing stability comparing with control treatment.

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Nibio Ullensvang har i perioden 2010-2016 gjennomført rettleiingsprøving av samla 14 sortar og seleksjonar av søtkirsebær frå foredlingsprogrammet ved forskingsstasjonen Summerland i Canada. Føremålet var å skaffa norske fruktdyrkarar sortar som gjev stor avling med kvalitetsfrukt og er tilpassa det norske klimaet. Sortane vart poda på den svaktveksande grunnstamma Gisela 5 og vart planta i ein plasttunnel. Pomologiske karakterar og fruktkvalitet vart vurderte og detaljert informasjon om dei ulike sortane er gjeve i denne rapporten. Sorten Starblush og seleksjonen SPC 108 er tilrådd for dyrking under norske tilhøve i tillegg til hovudsorten Lapins. Seleksjonen SPC 107 høver godt i småhagar.

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One of the most important factors affecting photosynthesis and metabolism is light absorbance by leaves and penetration through the canopy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of planting density and tree development stages on photosynthetic activity, photosynthetic pigments, and carbohydrates in apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees in a combined way. The apple tree, Auksis, was grafted on dwarfing rootstock P 22. Space between rows was 3 m, trees were planted in 2001 in four distances: 0.25 m, 0.50 m, 0.75 m, and 1.00 m. Measurements and leaf samples were taken in the end of May (leaves fully expanded BBCH 20–25), in the middle of July (beginning of apple maturity BBCH 73–75) and at the end of August (harvest time BBCH 87–88) according BBCH—growth stages. Photosynthetic rate was significantly the lowest in the spring and tended to rise until fruit ripening, when it increased up to 19.4% compared to spring. Significantly the highest chlorophyll b and carotene α and β contents were found at the BBCH 73–75. The lowest levels of fructose and sorbitol in leaves were found at BBCH 73–75. The amount of starch accumulated in the leaves increased three times in summer compared to spring. Reduced distance between trees to four times (from 1 m to 0.25 m) showed clear competitive stress, as the decrease of photosynthetic rate (up to 36.4–38.6%) and total starch (up to 37–53%) was observed. The photosynthetic behaviour of apple trees was significantly affected by the development stage during the particular season which is related with physiological changes of metabolites transport and their distribution during fruit ripening and leaf senescence.

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A study on the influence of planting distances on the growth, productivity and fruit quality of dwarf apple trees in a 15- to 18-year-old orchard was carried out at the Institute of Horticulture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry. Trees of the apple (Malus × domestica Borkh) cultivar ‘Auksis’ on rootstock P 60 were planted at distances of 3 × 1.5, 3 × 1.25, 3 × 1.00 m and 3 × 0.75 m. With increasing density of fruit trees, single-tree growth, generative development and yield were significantly reduced. The opposite results were obtained when these parameters were evaluated per unit area. Yield and fruit quality measurements were made at two canopy heights: 0–1.5 and 1.5–2.5 m. In the upper part of the fruit tree canopy, fruit average weight and diameter were higher, while the colour was more intense and less dependent on the planting density of fruit trees. In the lower part of the canopy, fruit quality was inferior and with increasing fruit tree density it further deteriorated. Planting distances had a significant effect on the accumulation of sugar, soluble solids and dry matter content: greater planting distances resulted in increased sugar content from 10.97% to 11.90%, soluble solids – from 12.30% to 13.17% and dry matter content – from 13.80% to 14.80%. Conversely, higher accumulation of phenolic and triterpenic compounds in apple fruits was found with decreasing planting distances. A significant increase of phenolic compounds from 2.91 up to 4.03 mg g-1 DW (dry weight) was recorded at the upper part of the canopy, while an increase of triterpens from 12.9 up to 16.07 mg g-1 DW – at the lower part of the canopy. The best productivity and fruit quality of ‘Auksis’ apple trees on P 60 rootstock at the full bearing stage were obtained, when fruit trees had been spaced at 3 × 1.25 m. Key words: fruit biochemical composition, fruit colour, Malus × domestica, planting system.

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Adjustable crop load primarily involves bud manipulation, and usually switches from vegetative to reproductive buds. While this switch is not fully understood, it is still controlled by the ratio of hormones, which promote or inhibit bud formation. To determine the reasons for biennial bearing, the effect of apple rootstock, scion cultivar, crop load, as well as metabolic changes of endogenous phytohormones [zeatin, jasmonic acid, indole-3 acetic acid (IAA), abscisic acid (ABA), and gibberellins 1, 3, and 7 (GAs)], and soluble sugars (glucose, fructose, and sorbitol) were evaluated, and their connections with return bloom and yield of apple tree buds were analyzed. Cultivars “Ligol” and “Auksis” were tested on five rootstocks contrasting in induced vigor: semi-dwarfing M.26; dwarfing M.9, B.396, and P 67; and super-dwarfing P 22. Crop load levels were adjusted before flowering, leaving 75, 113, and 150 fruits per tree. Principal component analysis (PCA) scatter plot of the metabolic response of phytohormones and sugars indicated that the effect of the semi-dwarfing M.26 rootstock was significantly different from that of the dwarfing M.9 and P 67, as well as the super-dwarfing P 22 rootstocks in both varieties. The most intensive crop load (150 fruits per tree) produced a significantly different response compared to less intensive crop loads (113 and 75) in both varieties. In contrast to soluble sugar accumulation, increased crop load resulted in an increased accumulation of phytohormones, except for ABA. Dwarfing rootstocks M.9, B.396, and P 67, as well as super-dwarf P 22 produced an altered accumulation of promoter phytohormones, while the more vigorous semi-dwarfing M.26 rootstock induced a higher content of glucose and inhibitory phytohormones, by increasing content of IAA, ABA, and GAs. The most significant decrease in return bloom resulted from the highest crop load in “Auksis” grafted on M.9 and P 22 rootstocks. Average difference in flower number between crop loads of 75 and 150 fruits per tree in “Ligol” was 68%, while this difference reached ~ 90% for P 22, and ~ 75% for M.9 and M.26 rootstocks. Return bloom was dependent on the previous year’s crop load, cultivar, and rootstock.

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As the interest in heirloom cultivars of apple trees, their fruit, and processed products is growing worldwide, studies of the qualitative and quantitative composition of biological compounds are important for the evaluation of the quality and nutritional properties of the apples. Studies on the variations in the chemical composition of phenolic compounds characterized by a versatile biological effect are important when researching the genetic heritage of the heirloom cultivars in order to increase the cultivation of such cultivars in orchards. A variation in the qualitative and quantitative composition of phenolic compounds was found in apple samples of cultivars included in the Lithuanian collection of genetic resources. By the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method flavan-3-ols (procyanidin B1, procyanidin B2, procyanidin C2, (+)-catechin and (−)-epicatechin), flavonols (rutin, hyperoside, quercitrin, isoquercitrin, reynoutrin and avicularin), chlorogenic acids and phloridzin were identified and quantified in fruit samples of heirloom apple cultivars grown in Lithuania. The highest sum of the identified phenolic compounds (3.82 ± 0.53 mg/g) was found in apple fruit samples of the ‘Koštelė’ cultivar

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The aim of this study was to determine the composition and content of phenolic compounds in extracts of plum fruit. Fruit of 17 plum cultivars were analyzed. Fruit samples were collected in 2019 from fruit trees with “Myrobalan” (P. cerasifera Ehrh.) and “Wangenheim Prune” (P. domestica L.) rootstocks. The following glycosides of the flavonol group were identified: avicularin, isorhamnetin-3-O-rutinoside, isoquercitrin, hyperoside, rutin, and an aglycone quercetin. Compounds of the flavan-3-ol group were identified, such as (+)-catechin, procyanidin C1, and procyanidin A2, along with chlorogenic acid attributed to phenolic acids and a non-phenolic cyclitol–quinic acid. Of all the analytes identified in plum fruit samples, quinic acid predominated, while chlorogenic acid predominated among all the identified phenolic compounds, and rutin predominated in the flavonol group. Hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that fruit samples of “Kubanskaya Kometa”, “Zarechnaya Raniaya”, “Duke of Edinburgh”, “Jubileum”, and “Favorita del Sultano” cultivars had different quantitative content of phenolic compounds from that observed in other samples. The highest total amount of phenolic compounds was found in the European plum samples of the “Zarechnaya Rannyaya” cultivar, while the amount of quinic acid was the highest in plum fruit samples of the “Jubileum” cultivar.