Apple fruits are covered by hydrophobic cuticle that provides protection against desiccation, pathogens, excessive water absorption and radiation. The features of cuticle affect the quality and storability of the fruits. It was aimed to evaluate the correlation between peel ultrastructure and weight loss in fruits covered by waxy bloom (cv. Florin...a) and without bloom (cv. Red Rome van Well) during 4-month cold storage. SEM (scanning electron microscopy) was used for visualization of the fruit surface and fruit weight was also measured. Several studies have revealed that there may be correlation between the ultrastructure of cuticle and its water permeability. Our results confirmed this phenomenon in case of two cultivars. The weight loss per fruit surface area unit of ‘Florina’ was found significantly higher than that of ‘Red Rome van Well’. At the same time the cuticular surface of the fruits contained more micro-cracks in case of the former cultivar. These data confirmed the relationship between the density of cuticular micro-cracks and the water vapour permeability. We concluded that this feature is more significant than the amount of natural waxy bloom on fruit surface.
According to previous studies some anatomical features seem to be connected with resistance or susceptibility to scab caused by Venturia ineaqulis (Cke./Wint.) in case of a given cultivar. Study of leaf anatomy of three scab resistant (‘Prima’, ‘Florina’, MR–12) and two susceptible (‘Watson Jonathan’, ‘Golden Delicious Reinders’)... apple cultivars have been made. Preserved preparations made of leaves has been studied by light microscope. Studied parameters were: thickness of leaf blade, thickness of palisade and spongy parenchyma, thickness of epidermal cells, thickness of the cuticle. By measuring leaf thickness and epidermal cell thickness visible differences appeared in certain cultivars, while most conspicuous difference has been shown in thickness of the cuticle.
The stigmata of detached flowers of susceptible and tolerant apple cultivars were inoculated with about 104 gfp labeled Erwinia amylovora . There were no apparent differences in the colonization, multiplication and survival of the bacteria on the stigmatic surface of the culivars. Bacteria were washed down to the hypanthium surface 24 hours after ...inoculation. The visual symptoms of the infection were the discoloration and shrinkage of the floral parts. The gradual browning associated with the infection appeared first on the surface of the hypanthium followed by the discoloration of the style. The color of the filaments turned into brown only 120 hours after the inoculation. Bacterial cells were not detected in the tissues of the styles and filaments. The traits of the hypanthium surface are of prominent importance in the progression of the infection. The wrinkled surface, the convex shape of the outer epidermal cell walls with thin cuticle and the sunken stomata helped to preserve a water film for a longer period providing medium for the motility of the bacteria in the susceptible cultivar. Bacteria were restricted to small water droplets on the flat and waxy surface of the hypanthium of the tolerant cultivar and only a few were able to enter the tissues.
Large bacterium aggregations were detected in the intercellular spaces of the parenchyma of the susceptible cultivar 48 hours after the inoculation. In the next period the Erwinia amylovora cells gradually invaded the intercellulars of the hypanthium wall, the wall of the ovary and the pedicel. Low level of bacterium aggregation was found in the intercellulars of the tolerant cultivars. It is suggested that the progression of the infection was inhibited also by physiological factors.