Constraints to obtaining consistent annual yields in perennials. II: Environment and fruit load affect induction of flowering

Alon Samach*, Harley M. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


In many commercial fruit crop species, high fruit load inhibits vegetative growth and floral induction. As a result, trees that had a high fruit load will bear few flowers and fruit the following year, along with abundant vegetative growth. We previously discussed how high fruit load interferes with concurrent shoot growth. Here we focus on how high fruit load impacts the process of flowering. Ascertaining the precise time at which specific buds begin the floral transition in each species is challenging. The use of indirect approaches to determine time of floral induction or evocation may lead to questionable conclusions. Annual and perennial plants appear to use conserved proteins for flowering induction and initiation. The accumulation or reduction of transcripts encoding proteins similar to Arabidopsis (annual) FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) and TERMINAL FLOWER1 (TFL1), respectively, correlates well with flower induction in several diverse species. The recent use of such markers provides a means to formulate an accurate timeframe for floral induction in different species and holds promise in providing new insight into this important developmental event. A role for hormones in modulating the inhibitory effect of fruit load on floral induction is also discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)168-176
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Science
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The AS lab is funded by the Israeli Science Foundation—the Charles H. Revson Foundation (grant no. 1464/07 ), the Chief Scientist Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Israel (grant nos. # 837-0086-10 and 837-0132-11 ) and by the German–Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP project H 3.1). We apologize to colleagues whose work we could not include because of space limitation. We would like to thank Shimon Lavee, Reuben Hofshi, the editor Jonathan Gressel and anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.


  • Alternate bearing
  • FT
  • Flowering
  • Fruit tree
  • Gibberellin
  • Inductive cold temperatures


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