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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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Sunburn incidence of apples is affected by rootstocks and fruit position within the canopy but not by fruit position on the cluster
Published September 2, 2009

Authors investigated sunburn incidence of apples on the combinations of three different growth inducing rootstocks (M.9,MM.106 and seedling) and five varieties (‘Smoothee’, ‘Golden Reinders’, ‘Granny Smith’, ‘Gloster’ and ‘Jonagold Jonica’). Symptoms were classified as sunburn browning, sunburn necrosis and photooxidative su...nburn. The frequency of symptoms was recorded at various parts of the canopy (N, E,W, S, and lower canopy, upper canopy) and on the cluster (terminal, lateral). Cultivar susceptibility varied between 0.30 and 5.65% on M.9 rootstock, ‘Granny Smith’ seemed to be the most susceptible cultivar whereas relatively low percentage of damaged fruit was observed for ‘Gloster’. On MM.106 and seedling rootstocks, damage level was significantly lower than on M.9. Remarkable differences were not observed in the share of the three sunburn types between cultivars. The most common symptom observed was sunburn browning. Far less fruit was affected by sunburn necrosis and photooxidative sunburn. Photooxidative sunburn symptoms were not found on ‘Granny Smith’ and ‘Gloster’ fruits on MM.106 rootstock. Latter cultivar did not show sunburn necrosis symptoms either. With increasing growing vigor of the rootstocks the share of sunburn browning increased. Fruits with sunburn symptoms were found in a great majority on theW quadrant of the trees. This was true for all cultivars. Remarkable differences in the location within the canopy of affected fruits between the three types of sunburn were not observed. Specific distribution of sunburned fruit was observed along the vertical axis of the canopy, too. Most of the damaged fruit were found in the upper canopy. This is particularly true for trees on vigorous stocks such as MM.106 and seedling. On M.9 rootstock, depending on cultivars 5.9 to 38.9% of sunburned fruit was located in the lower canopy. Most common symptom in the lower canopy was the sunburn browning, however symptoms of sunburn necrosis were not found at lower canopy level. Low rate of photooxidative sunburn was observed such lower canopy conditions. Sunburn incidence was very similar on king or side fruit. Significant differences were not found in the share of each sunburn types between fruit positions on the cluster. This was not influenced by rootstocks either.

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Sunburn assessment: A critical appraisal of methods and techniques for characterizing the damage to apple fruit
Published August 16, 2010

Many methods and techniques have been introduced for measuring alterations in the fruit and in its surrounding environment related to sunburn incidence. The research objectives, fruit materials and the environment to be evaluated dictate the methods to follow. These procedures are either non-destructive and involve techniques that allow us to t...rack the course of sunburn development and related environmental parameters, or destructive and involve the removal of fruit from the tree for field/laboratory measurements. Techniques employed can be used for pre-symptomatic monitoring (before symptoms become visible) or characterizing the symptoms already present. The principles behind the measurements and their usefulness for sunburn assessments are discussed and critically evaluated in this review paper. Descriptions and evaluations of the methods and techniques were made in the following groups: 1. Thermal measurements; 2. Visual assessments; 3. Fruit quality measurements; 4. Measurements of physiological and biochemical alterations; and 5. Practical evaluation of sunburn damage. Thermal measurements involve methods tracking the ambient temperature and fruit surface temperature, and their relation to sunburn formation. Visual assessments cover all measuring techniques (skin color, chlorophyll fluorescence, radiation reflection, electron microscopy) that are able to detect changes on/in the fruit skin related to sunburn formation. Fruit quality measurements are used to point out differences in qualities (soluble solids, firmness, titratable acidity, and water content) between unaffected and sunburned areas of the fruit. The measurements of physiological and biochemical alterations (gas exchange, pigment analysis, enzyme activity, gene expression) give us a better insight to the mechanism of sunburn formation. Practical evaluations involve many procedures that are used by scientists to characterize the susceptibility of cultivars, evaluate protection technology, etc. For this purpose, the following methods are in use: expressing the percentage of the total fruit surface area affected by sunburn or the percentage of the total number of fruits damaged on the tree, or even a scale based on the severity of the symptoms occurred. All assessing methods and techniques described here have their pros and cons as well as their specific applicability, therefore any of these cannot be favored to use exclusively for assessing sunburn incidence. The combination of these techniques will be the best choice to meet a given research objective perfectly.

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Effects of excessive weather on the micro-climate of apple plantations under the hail protection nets
Published December 4, 2011

The general utilisation of hail nets is spreading all over the world and in Hungary too. Hail nets are at present the only tool, which
is able to prevent heavy hail damage in agricultural crops. Besides its numerous advantages, there are also deleterious side effects, e.g. it
changes the microclimate of the crop stand. Our study aimed to ...observe the differences, which characterise the physical status of crop stands
under the protection of hail nets compared with the stands in open air under various meteorological conditions: high or low temperature, calm
or windy atmosphere and their possible combinations. The results indicated that on hot and calm days the difference may attain 3–4° C. On
cool summer days, the difference was only 1.5 ºC. The hail net influences the relative humidity of the air, which means on ho summer days
often 7-8% differences. Conditions of radiation may also differ conspicuously. Measurements prove the reduced global radiation on sunny
summer days to 70%. This impairs as a rule the development of fruits reducing their quality and also its quantitative traits. Sunburn is, on the
other hand, significantly prevented by shadow.

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The impact of location, row direction, plant density and rootstock on the sunburn damage of apple cultivars
Published March 14, 2005

The effect of row direction (N-S, E-W), plant density (conventional and intensive) and rootstock (M9, MM106 and crab apple) on the sensitivity of 41 apple cultivars to sunburn injury was studied at 6 locations (Derecske, Kálmánáaza, Nagykutas, Nagylapos, Siófok, Tornyospálca).

During the observations the cultivars had rootstock-spe...cific properties in respect of sunburn-susceptibility. Accordingly, the injury was decreased in the order: M9, MM106 and seedling rootstocks. The differences in sensitivity depend on the canopy of trees, caused finally by the growing vigour of rootstocks. Accordingly, the highest value of sunburn injury was observed on M9 rootstock, because this rootstock has a dwarfing effect upon the scion cultivars. Thus, vegetative area of these trees grow very slowly and the foliage is not enough compact to protect the fruit from solar radiation. The size and density of the foliage increased in the order: M9, MM 106 and crab apple seedling as rootstock. Moreover, relationships were demonstrated between the diameter of upper part of the crown, the leaf area, the number of fruits per tree and the injury of sunburn.

Authors categorized the cultivars in respect of values of sunburn incidence: 1. „Not sensitive", II. „Moderately sensitive" and HI. „Strongly sensitive" categories were constituted. Generally, Topaz and Gala cultivars showed low damage (or were free from symptoms), in contrast to this, Golden mutants suffered relatively much. The most sensitive cultivar was Jonica on all the three rootstocks. We searched for relationship between the fruit quality parameters and the frequency of sunburn. Significant correlation was found in the cases of fruit size and the extent of cover-colour. The latter is interpreted with the fact that the best coloured fruits are found on the periphery of crown as a consequence of more intense irradiation.

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