The Morphology of Postharvest Pitting of White Grapefruit

in HortScience
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  • 1 Florida Dept. of Citrus, Lake Alfred, FL 33850

Postharvest pitting of citrus fruit is a recently defined peel disorder that is caused by high-temperature storage (>10°C) of waxed fruit. We examined the anatomy of pitted white grapefruit peel to improve our understanding of this disorder and assist in its diagnosis. Scanning, light, and transmission micrographs showed that postharvest pitting is characterized by the collapse of oil glands. Cells enveloping the oil glands are the cells of primary damage. Oil gland rupture may occur anywhere around the oil gland, but often occurs in regions farthest from the epidermal cells. Adjacent parenchyma cells are damaged as the oil spreads. Epidermal and hypodermal cells are often damaged during severe oil gland collapse. In contrast, chilling injury is characterized by the collapse of epidermal and hypodermal cells. Oil glands are affected only in severe cases of chilling injury. Oleocellosis (oil spotting) is often characterized by the collapse of epidermal and hypodermal cells, but cells enveloping the oil gland are typically not damaged. Physical damage is characterized by damage of epidermal cells, a wound periderm, and presence of secondary pathogens.

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