Russet Susceptibility in Apple Is Associated with Skin Cells that Are Larger, More Variable in Size, and of Reduced Fracture Strain

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Khanal, B.P.; Le, T.L.; Si, Y.; Knoche, M.: Russet Susceptibility in Apple Is Associated with Skin Cells that Are Larger, More Variable in Size, and of Reduced Fracture Strain. In: Plants : open access journal 9 (2020), Nr. 9, 1118. DOI:

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Russeting is an economically important surface disorder in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh). Indirect evidence suggests an irregular skin structure may be the cause of the phenomenon. The objective of this study was to characterize epidermal and hypodermal cell morphology and the mechanical properties of the skins of apple cultivars of differing russet susceptibility. Dimensions of epidermal and hypodermal cells were determined using microscopy. Stiffness (S), maximum force (Fmax), and maximum strain (εmax) at failure were quantified using uniaxial tensile tests of skin strips. Particularly during early fruit development, epidermal cells (EC) and hypodermal cells (HC) in russet non-susceptible cultivars occurred in greater numbers per unit area than in russet-susceptible ones. The EC and HC were lower in height, shorter in length, and of reduced tangential surface area. There were little differences in S or Fmax between non-susceptible and susceptible cultivars. However, the εmax were higher for the skins of non-susceptible cultivars, than for those of susceptible ones. This difference was larger for the young than for the later growth stages. It is concluded that russet-susceptible cultivars generally have larger cells and a wider distribution of cell sizes for both EC and HC. These result in decreased εmax for the skin during early fruit development when russet susceptibility is high. This increases the chances of skin failures which is known to trigger russeting.
License of this version: CC BY 4.0 Unported
Document Type: Article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2020
Appears in Collections:Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

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