Gibberellic acid in Citrus spp. flowering and fruiting: A systematic review

Autoři: Alfonso Garmendia aff001;  Roberto Beltrán aff002;  Carlos Zornoza aff003;  Francisco J. García-Breijo aff002;  José Reig aff004;  Hugo Merle aff002
Působiště autorů: Instituto Agroforestal Mediterráneo, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain aff001;  Departamento de Ecosistemas Agroforestales, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain aff002;  S.A. Explotaciones Agrícolas Serrano (SAEAS), Picassent, Valencia, Spain aff003;  Instituto Cavanilles de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva, Jardín Botánico Universitat de València, Valencia, Spain aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(9)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223147



In Citrus spp., gibberellic acid (GA) has been proposed to improve different processes related to crop cycle and yield. Accordingly, many studies have been published about how GA affects flowering and fruiting. Nevertheless, some such evidence is contradictory and the use of GA applications by farmers are still confusing and lack the expected results.


This review aims to collate, present, analyze and synthesize the most relevant empirical evidence to answer the following questions: (i) how does gibberellic acid act on flowering and fruiting of citrus trees?; (ii) why is all this knowledge sometimes not correctly used by farmers to solve yield problems relating to flowering and fruit set?


An extensive literature search to obtain a large number of records about the topic was done. Searches were done in five databases: WoS, Scopus, Google Academics, PubMed and Scielo. The search string used was "Gibberellic acid" AND "Citrus". Records were classified into 11 groups according to the development process they referred to and initial data extraction was done. Records related with flowering and fruit set were drawn, and full texts were screened. Fifty-eight full text records were selected for the final data extraction.


Selected studies were published from 1959 to 2017 and were published mainly in Spain, USA, Brazil and Japan. Twelve species were studied, and Citrus sinensis, C. reticulata and C. unshiu were the principal ones. Most publications with pre-flowering treatments agreed that GA decreases flowering, while only 3 out of 18 did not observe any effect. In most of these studies, the effect on fruit set and yield was not evaluated. Studies with treatments at full bloom or some weeks later mostly reported increased fruit set. However, these increases did not imply higher yields. The results on yield were highly erratic as we found increases, decreases, no effects or variable effects.


Despite some limitations, the action of GA related to cell division and growth, stimulating the sink ability of the organ and discouraging its abscission, has been clearly established through reviewed studies. GA applications before flowering counteract the floral induction caused by stress reducing flowering. However, on adult trees under field conditions, reducing flowering by applying GA would be difficult because it would be necessary to previously estimate the natural floral induction of trees. During flowering and fruit set, many problems may arise that limit production. Only when the problem is lack of fruit set stimulus can GA applications improve yields. However, much evidence suggests that the main factor-limiting yield would be carbohydrate availability rather than GA levels. GA applications increased fruit set (often transiently), but this increase did not mean improved yields.

Klíčová slova:

Carbohydrates – Database searching – Flowers – Fruits – Leaves – Gibberellins – Oranges – Citrus


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