Predicting osmotic potential from measurements of refractive index in cherries, grapes and plums

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Winkler, A.; Knoche, M.: Predicting osmotic potential from measurements of refractive index in cherries, grapes and plums. In: PLoS One 13 (2018), Nr. 11, e0207626. DOI:

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Studies of fruit tree water relations often require data on water potentials of fruit. However, this is sometimes difficult because the fruit stalks are not sufficiently long for use in a pressure bomb. Also, because fruit xylem function is often lost during maturation. In the absence of significant turgor, the osmotic potential of the expressed juice is a useful proxy for a fruit's water potential. The osmotic potential of most fleshy fruit is determined largely by the concentration of soluble carbohydrates and this can be quantified by osmometry. Soluble solids may also be quantified by refractometry. Compared with osmometry, refractometry is markedly less expensive and also much faster. Hence, it is better suited to high-throughput analyses. The objective of this study was to establish relationships between the osmotic potentials of juices expressed from sweet cherries and sour cherries, grapes and plums as determined using a vapor pressure osmometer and their soluble solids concentrations as determined using a refractometer. The data reveal close relationships within all these species. Except for plums, the relationships between species were almost identical. This is due to similarity among cultivars and species in the relative abundances of the same set of major osmolytes-i.e. the carbohydrates glucose, fructose and sorbitol and the potassium salts of the organic acids malate or tartrate. For plums, the relationship between osmotic potential and soluble solids concentration was slightly displaced. Our findings indicate osmotic potentials may be reliably predicted from soluble solids concentrations determined by refractometry.
License of this version: CC BY 4.0 Unported
Document Type: article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2018
Appears in Collections:Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

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1 image of flag of Germany Germany 80 95.24%
2 image of flag of Estonia Estonia 2 2.38%
3 image of flag of United States United States 1 1.19%
4 image of flag of Austria Austria 1 1.19%

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