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Planta. 2001 Aug;213(4):525-33.

Non destructive analysis of the wax layer of apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) by means of confocal laser scanning microscopy.

Author information

1
Flanders Centre/Laboratory of Postharvest Technology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium. els.veraverbeke@agr.kuleuven.ac.be

Abstract

Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) was used to non-destructively analyse the changes in the structure and thickness of the cuticle during storage of apples (Malus domestica Borkh.). Interpretation of the confocal images was performed by comparison with scanning electron microscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy images. The natural reflectance of the wax and the auto-fluorescence of the underlying cells made it possible with CLSM to distinguish the wax from the underlying layers without any pretreatment of the fruit. The thickness of the consecutive layers (wax, cutin, cells) could be estimated from measurements of the reflection and fluorescence intensities as a function of the number of pixels. The mean wax-layer thickness measured in this way amounted to 2.58 microm, 3.41 microm or 4.14 microm for the cultivars Jonagold, Jonagored and Elstar, respectively. Changes in the wax structure and cells of the same important Belgian apple cultivars as mentioned above were monitored during nine months of storage in ultra low oxygen and after exposure to ambient conditions. The changes in the wax ultrastructure and cell morphology are likely related to water losses and specific protection of the apple cultivars against water losses during storage and shelf life.

PMID:
11556784
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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