Fine Structure of Apple Leaves Treated with the Sterol-inhibiting Fungicide Bitertanol

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  • 1 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Ultrastructural observations were made of leaves of apple (Malus domestics Borkh. cv. Red Delicious) 12, 24, and 72 hours following a single foliar application of the sterol-inhibiting fungicide bitertanol. Thylakoids of chloroplasts from treated leaves were swollen and irregular and chloroplasts had lost their integrity within 12 hours after treatment. Occasionally, mitochondria looked washed out, although no other changes in membrane or organelle structures were observed. Within 24 to 72 hours, moreover, thylakoids of chloroplasts from treated leaves returned to a state similar to that of the controls. However, the numbers of starch granules in the chloroplasts of treated leaves appeared to increase throughout the 72 hours and remained somewhat higher than levels in controls. Thus, bitertanol does not appear to have a lasting effect on apple leaves. Chemical name used: ß-([1,1′-biplenyl]-4-yloxy)-α-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1H-1,2,4-trizole-1-ethanol (bitertanol).

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