Rootstock physiology

The root system of a fruit tree is crucial in determining water and nutrient uptake efficiency. The choice of rootstock will influence vigour, precocity, anchorage, yield, fruit quality, pest and disease resistance, drought stress resilience and overall health of the tree.

East Malling Research has supported global fruit production for one hundred years and there can be few, if any, apples or pears grown anywhere in the world today, that have not been directly or indirectly affected by its science programme.

Current Rootstock Research in RECP 

We are contributing to an understanding of the mechanism by which the rootstock exerts its control on the scion at several levels.

  • Hormonal signalling in rootstock/scion interactions.
  • Anatomical study of the graft union and how it develops.
  • Identifying phenotypic traits that relate to WUE and can be linked to molecular markers.

We are also identifying threshold soil matrix potentials at which physiological effects are initiated and thus facilitating more effective and efficient WUE irrigation strategies.



For further information please contact Dr Mark Else

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