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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2020, Vol. 19 Issue (3): 709-720    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(19)62848-0
Special Issue: 园艺-栽培生理/资源品质合辑Horticulture — Physiology · Biochemistry · Cultivation
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Physiological evaluation of nitrogen use efficiency of different apple cultivars under various nitrogen and water supply conditions
WANG Qian1*, LIU Chang-hai1*, HUANG Dong1, DONG Qing-long 1, LI Peng-min1, Steve van NOCKER2,  MA Feng-wang1
1 State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas/Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Apple, College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, P.R.China
2 Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
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Nitrogen (N) deficiency is a common problem for apple (Malus×domestica) production in arid regions of China.  However, N utilization efficiency (NUE) of different apple cultivars grown under low N conditions in arid regions has not been evaluated. In this study, NUE was assessed for one-year-old seedlings of six apple cultivars, Golden Delicious, Qinguan, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Fuji and Pink Lady, grafted onto Malus hupehensis Rehd. rootstocks.  Four treatments were used, including control water with control N (CWCN), limited water with control N (LWCN), control water with low N (CWLN) and limited water with low N (LWLN).  Our results showed that growth indices such as biomass, plant height and stem diameter, and photosynthetic rate of all cultivars decreased in the order CWCN>CWLN>LWCN>LWLN.  When subjected to LWLN treatment, Qinguan showed better growth and photosynthetic characters than other tested cultivars.  Additionally, Qinguan and Pink Lady had higher NUE, while Honeycrisp and Jonagold had lower NUE, based on the determination of biomass, photosynthetic parameters, chlorophyll content, the maximal photochemical efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm), 15N and N contents.
Keywords:  apple        drought        N deficiency        physiological indices        15N-labeling        NUE  
Received: 21 August 2019   Accepted:
Fund: The authors are grateful to Mr. Ma Zhengwei from Northwest A&F University, China for management of the apple seedlings and members of Stress Biology of Fruit Trees Group for assistance in successfully completing this study.  This work was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFD1000300) and the earmarked fund for the China Agriculture Research System (CARS-27).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence LI Peng-min, Tel: +86-29-87082613, E-mail:; MA Feng-wang, Tel: +86-29-87082648, E-mail:;   
About author:  WANG Qian, E-mail:; LIU Chang-hai, E-mail:; * These authors contributed equally to this study.

Cite this article: 

WANG Qian, LIU Chang-hai, HUANG Dong, DONG Qing-long, LI Peng-min, Steve van NOCKER, MA Feng-wang . 2020. Physiological evaluation of nitrogen use efficiency of different apple cultivars under various nitrogen and water supply conditions. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 19(3): 709-720.

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