“To find out something new about apples is really exciting”, says Dr Mary Parker of the Institute of Food Research. “Apples have been cultivated for about as long as human history and Fuji apples are particularly prized for their crispness, sweet flavour and keeping qualities “.
The variety was developed in Japan, but is widely grown in the Southern Hemisphere, China, Southern Europe and the USA. It is a cross between Ralls Janet and Red Delicious, and is itself used as a parent in breeding programmes.
“The reason these hairs have not been spotted before is probably because the full extent of their growth can only be appreciated in 3D”, says Dr Parker.
Dr Parker used light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy to reveal clumps of small, elongated and branched cells in the air spaces between cells. She named them callus hairs because of their resemblance to the cells which make up the white velvety tufts (sometimes mistaken for fungus) which develop around the seeds in some apple varieties.
The presence of callus hairs filling the airspaces of mature Fuji could account for the susceptibility of late-harvested apples to internal browning. Unrestricted gas flow through the fruit is vital for successful long-term storage particularly in modified atmospheres. Callus hair growth, with its own oxygen requirement and carbon dioxide output, may reduce the efficiency of gas transport through the spaces between cells.
“With this new knowledge, breeders could pick parent varieties with all the positive traits of Fuji apples but with less-developed callus hairs”, says Dr Parker. The presence or absence of callus hairs could also be used to test the authenticity of dried apples labelled as Fuji.
Preliminary studies have shown that callus hairs are rich in phytonutrients but may also contain allergens. Further investigations are needed to establish how growth conditions and orchard management affect the extent of callus hair development.For more information please contact Dr Mary Parker
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy