These two constraints are about to be lifted, thanks to research by a CIRAD team working on integrated fruit and horticultural production in Réunion. Over the past six years, its researchers have been working to understand the flowering mechanism in mango*. The aim is to guarantee growers a more consistent income by sustaining production from one year to the next, and also to ensure that mangoes come onto the market, particularly the export market, earlier, by managing harvesting dates more efficiently and ensuring better crop distribution throughout the season.
Reducing the inflorescence and fruit load
The researchers first showed that the alternate production pattern was linked to a similar pattern in terms of the trees' carbon, ie energy, reserves. In a productive year, the many fruits draw sugars from the trees' carbon reserves, particularly in the fruiting branches but above all in the roots. The following year, the trees have lower carbon reserves, which may account for their poor flowering and resulting lower production. Hence to ensure more consistent mango production from year to year, the team suggests reducing inflorescence and fruit load, to prevent exhaustion of the trees' carbon reserves.
As regards controlling the flowering date, the team has shown that vegetative growth, flowering and fruiting are closely linked: "Their intensity and evolution over time depend on the characteristics of the growth units [stem section that appears during a given growth period, editor's note] that are likely to branch, flower or bear fruit", explains Frédéric Normand. Vegetative growth control techniques, such as pruning or thinning, could thus encourage flowering and modify the flowering date.
Solutions to be tested
These advances mean that it is now possible to test new mango cropping management methods, under a collaborative development project funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries**. The project is to be led by CIRAD, and will start in March 2007. The agronomic component of the project is intended to reduce production alternation, control harvesting dates and improve fruit quality. It should also make it possible to test the solutions proposed based on previous results. The new project will also attempt to cut pesticide use by controlling another phenomenon: asynchronized flowering, vegetative growth and fruiting. The idea is to concentrate each of these generally lengthy phases over a shorter period, to ensure that the leaves, flowers and fruits are not exposed to pests and diseases for such a long time. This is crucial for producing better quality fruits in a more ecofriendly way.
Helen Burford | alfa
Kakao in Monokultur verträgt Trockenheit besser als Kakao in Mischsystemen
18.09.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Ultrasound sensors make forage harvesters more reliable
28.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy