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Characterization of sunburn damage to apple fruits and leaves
Published August 16, 2010

The specific conditions of the formation of three different types of sunburn (sunburn browning, sunburn necrosis, and photooxidative sunburn) have been recently characterized on apple fruit. However, no information is still available on leaf damage. Therefore, the aims of this study were i) to extend the knowledge on fruit damage, ii) character...ize leaf damage and iii) find relationship between fruit and leaf damage. The observations were made on 586 apple accessions in a gene bank orchard located in Hungary. The incidence of the three different types of fruit symptoms were recorded and based on the visual symptoms, two different types of leaf sunburn (sunburn yellowing and sunburn necrosis) were characterized. The most frequent type of fruit sunburn observed was sunburn browning. Photooxidative sunburn was found for less number of accessions, and only some accessions were affected by sunburn necrosis. Fruit were far more susceptible than leaves; (>60%) of the examined accessions were affected by fruit damage and (<3%) by leaf damage. Although a large number of accessions were affected, the percentage of fruit damaged within accessions was not that excessive; ~6% of the fruit assessed showed the symptoms of sunburn browning. Significantly fewer fruit were damaged by sunburn necrosis (~1%) or photooxidative sunburn (~1.4%) than sunburn browning. The percentage of leaves damaged within accessions were simlarly very low (~1%). Close relationship between fruit and leaf damage was found. Accesions with relatively heavily sunburned leaves usually had severe fruit damage as well. Leaves showing sunburn symptoms were usually closely located around those fruit which were sunburned severely. Leaf damage of sunburn was found on spur leaves in a great majority of the accessions damaged, shoot leaves did not seem to be susceptible to sunburn.

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