Influence of Carbohydrates, Mineral Nutrients and Plant Hormones in Alternate Bearing of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum L.)


Alternate bearing habit, a common phenomenon prevalent in some of the fruit trees is observed in black pepper variety Panniyur-1 also. In this study, an attempt was made to investigate the role of carbohydrates, mineral nutrients and plant hormones (IAA and zeatin riboside) in alternate bearing in Panniyur-1 variety. The experiment was conducted for three consecutive years at Murugarajendra estate, Madikeri, Karnataka, India (12.42N, 75.73E). Carbohydrate, mineral nutrient and plant hormone (IAA and zeatin riboside) statuses of the leaves as well as fruiting branches (stem) were compared between good fruiting year (on year) and low fruiting year (off year). Results revealed that concentration of mineral nutrients in leaves was more during on year compared to off year while the reverse was true on the stem. Both stem and leaf metabolite levels at harvest were higher in off year compared to on year suggesting that remobilization of nutrients to the developing berries must have been affected during off year, thus leading to accumulation of more nutrients at harvest in off year compared to on year. Leaf had higher concentration of most of mineral nutrients compared to stem. Spraying of 1% solution of complex fertilizer 19:19:19 (percent N:P:K) three times at an interval of 3 weeks from flower primordial initiation to flowering period enhanced the yield to the extent of around 30% during off year. Auxin to cytokinin ratio was 6.6 and 6.1 in on year and 6.3 and 5.7 in off year at flowering and 3 months after flowering respectively, suggesting that this ratio itself may not play a major role in flowering during on and off years, though the ratio was slightly more during on year. Results of the study indicate that efficient utilization of metabolites and nutrients in on year may render vine weak in the subsequent year coupled with poor remobilization into developing berries, which could make it an off year.

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K. Krishnamurthy, S. Ankegowda, V. Srinivasan and S. Hamza, "Influence of Carbohydrates, Mineral Nutrients and Plant Hormones in Alternate Bearing of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum L.)," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 10, 2013, pp. 1960-1967. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.410243.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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