Frequency of Vascular Nodules in the Fruit of 'Gala' × 'Splendour' Hybrids and Other Apple Cultivars

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  • 1 HortResearch, Private Bag 11-030, Palmerston North, New Zealand
  • | 2 Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Summerland, British Columbia, V0H 1Z0, Canada
  • | 3 Institute of Molecular BioSciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North, New Zealand

The new apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) cultivar Sciros™, resulting from a cross of 'Gala' with 'Splendour', is marketed internationally from New Zealand. A characteristic of this cultivar is the presence of dense, dark green or black nodules in the fruit cortex, located in close proximity to the five sepal vascular bundles. Nodules are visible as green spots beginning about 40 days after bloom and they continue to develop, reaching a length of up to 8 mm at fruit maturity, although there is considerable variation in their size. Large vascular nodules often develop dark brown centers and reduce the visual quality of the fruit flesh. The frequencies of vascular nodules in 61 'Gala' × 'Splendour' hybrids from New Zealand and British Columbia, Canada, were examined. These ranged from a mean of 0 to 12.1, depending on the hybrid. Thirteen hybrids were in the high frequency class (2.76-12.1), 28 in the low frequency (0.04-1.86), and 20 were without nodules. The mean nodule frequency in Sciros™ was 12.1 nodules per fruit, the highest of all hybrids examined. Our survey of 44 other cultivars confirmed the occurrence of vascular nodules in 'Gala' and 'Splendour', with mean vascular nodule frequency of 1.9 and 0.5 nodules per fruit, respectively. Nodules were also found in 'Newtown Pippin' (frequency 0.8), and in a 'Newtown Pippin' × 'Granny Smith' hybrid (frequency 0.1).

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