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Red color distribution in apple skin

Red color distribution in apple skin

Proc Amer Soc Hort Sci 74: 72-81

Small (5x 5 mm) pieces of apple skin freshly removed from the fruit and mounted on microscope slides in dilute wetting agent were examined with the aid of a compound microscope. Pieces of the epidermal layer with overlying cuticle, removed by dissection, were mounted and examined in the same way. The cellular distribution of red color is a distinct varietal characteristic in most of the 19 vars. studied. Red color in apple skin is found only in cells, as globular or ellipsoidal vacuoles of anthocyanin pigment; The epidermal layer in Mclntosh, Cortland, Spartan, Jonathan, Jonared, Red Spy, Starkrimson, and Wellspur contains a high proportion (60-95%) of pigmented cells. Delicious, Starking and Richared have nearly colorless epidermis; while Starkrimson and Wellspur, both bud sports of Starking, have very high proportions of pigmented epidermal cells. Where the epidermal cells do contain pigment, the color is often more intense than in any of the underlying layers. Stripes and chimera-like sectors of deeper red color in Delicious and Starking are identical in regard to color distribution, and are the result of a greater number of cells with red color in the hypodermal layers. The light-red sectors commonly found in Starking are apparently the result of slow or delayed color development, but may be sectorial chimeras or may possibly arise by layer replacement.

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