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Reproductive Biology

    Research in this field is aimed at obtaining regular high yields of good quality fruit. Hence, projects tend to investigate flower initiation, pollination, fruit set, fruit thinning and alternate bearing. The research is mostly applied and in recent years provided the stone fruit industry with a mechanical thinning option and a new chemical thinning agent that will soon be registered for use on plums, peaches and nectarines. It became apparent in the 2018 season that high temperatures during the bloom period can have a dramatic impact on the set of plums.

    Louisa Blomerus is investigating the effective pollination period of various plum cultivars. These results should allow plum producers to assess the potential risk of poor set with various cultivars during heat wave conditions and maybe thereby inform cultivar selection. A new project was initiated by Matthew Addison to study various aspects of bee pollination.


    Research Team

    • Dr Xolani Siboza
    • Mr Matthew Addison
    • Ms Louisa Blomerus
    • Mr Marnes Gouws
    • Mr Aldo Horne – MSc student

    Projects list

    • Evaluation of managed bees and pollination efficiency in the pome and stone fruit industry in the South Western Cape, South Africa (M Addison)
    • Reproductive Biology: Screening mainstream plum cultivars for the duration of the effective pollination period and other factors influencing successful fruit set. (L Blomerus) [Abstract]
    • The effect of Regalis application on regrowth, crop load and yield alternation in ‘Fuji’ apple. (X Siboza)
    • Study on the effect of dry matter content on storability and eating quality of Bigbucks and Cripps Red apples to facilitate better postharvest decision making. (D Viljoen) [Abstract]
    • Hortgro Technical Symposium Day 2 – 7 June 2022


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