Russeting of Fruits: Etiology and Management

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Winkler, A.; Athoo, T.; Knoche, M.: Russeting of Fruits: Etiology and Management. In: Horticulturae : open access journal 8 (2022), Nr. 3, 231. DOI:

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Sum total of downloads: 42

The skin of a fruit protects the vulnerable, nutrient-rich flesh and seed(s) within from the hostile environment. It is also responsible for the fruit’s appearance. In many fruitcrop species, russeting compromises fruit appearance and thus commercial value. Here, we review the literature on fruit russeting, focusing on the factors and mechanisms that induce it and on the management and breeding strategies that may reduce it. Compared with a primary fruit skin, which is usually distinctively colored and shiny, a secondary fruit skin is reddish-brown, dull and slightly rough to the touch (i.e., russeted). This secondary skin (periderm) comprises phellem cells with suberized cell walls, a phellogen and a phelloderm. Russeted (secondary) fruit skins have similar mechanical properties to non-russeted (primary) ones but are more plastic. However, russeted fruit skins are more permeable to water vapor, so russeted fruits suffer higher postharvest water loss, reduced shine, increased shrivel and reduced packed weight (most fruit is sold per kg). Orchard factors that induce russeting include expansion-growth-induced strain, surface wetness, mechanical damage, freezing temperatures, some pests and diseases and some agrochemicals. All these probably act via an increased incidence of cuticular microcracking as a result of local concentrations of mechanical stress. Microcracking impairs the cuticle’s barrier properties. Potential triggers of russeting (the development of a periderm), consequent on cuticular microcracking, include locally high concentrations of O2, lower concentrations of CO2 and more negative water potentials. Horticulturists sometimes spray gibberellins, cytokinins or boron to reduce russeting. Bagging fruit (to exclude surface moisture) is also reportedly effective. From a breeding perspective, genotypes having small and more uniform-sized epidermal cells are judged less likely to be susceptible to russeting.
License of this version: CC BY 4.0 Unported
Document Type: Article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2022
Appears in Collections:Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

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1 image of flag of Germany Germany 24 57.14%
2 image of flag of United States United States 9 21.43%
3 image of flag of China China 4 9.52%
4 image of flag of Taiwan Taiwan 1 2.38%
5 image of flag of India India 1 2.38%
6 image of flag of Finland Finland 1 2.38%
7 image of flag of Algeria Algeria 1 2.38%
8 image of flag of Denmark Denmark 1 2.38%

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