About this Research Topic
Bud dormancy in woody perennials is essential for plant survival during winter. It is also an important developmental stage that affects bud break, blooming, and next season’s growth. Environmental cues (such as photoperiod, temperature and water status), genetic factors and horticultural practices are all involved in the regulation of tree growth/dormancy cycle. Moreover, findings in Rosaceae raise the possibility that different mechanisms underlie the behavior of vegetative buds and flower buds during the dormancy cycle. Warming of fall and spring due to climate change is expected to impact timing and intensity of growth resumption and flowering progression, which may threaten stable fruit and timber production, and disrupt the sustainability of ecosystems.
While recent molecular studies improved our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate and execute the bud dormancy cycle in woody perennials, the complete picture is still missing. Thus, our ability to develop powerful and reliable means to control timing and intensity of dormancy, flowering progression, bud break and blooming is still limited. To address this, an integrative approach is required, that will allow us to weave together fragmented knowledge achieved using various approaches such as genetics, physiology, breeding, meteorology, mathematical modelling and more. Our goals are (1) to collect multifaceted knowledge regarding the dormancy cycle, growth resumption, and flowering (blooming) progression, (2) to integrate this fragmented knowledge into a working model that will allow reliable prediction of the tree phenology during bud dormancy cycle and flowering, upon anticipated changes due to global warming. A reliable working model will be instrumental for targeted breeding for adaptation for higher winter temperatures and will contribute to forestry and horticulture industry.
We welcome in particular submissions relating to the following themes:
• Physiology, molecular, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying the control of bud dormancy cycle, flowering progression, growth resumption and blooming.
• Modeling bud break and flowering.
• Artificial manipulation of flowering and dormancy in woody perennials.
• Natural variation in flowering and dormancy characteristics and low-chill breeding.
• Flowering behavior of woody perennials under global climate change.
Image: Japanese bird cherry (Prunus grayana). Credit: Erica Fadón, University of Bonn.
Keywords: bud dormancy, woody perennials, flowering, blooming, bud break, climate change, fruit trees
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