Differences in Number and Area of Mesocarp Cells between Small- and Large-fruited Peach Cultivars

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, 45 Wiltshire Road, Kearneysville, WV 25430
  • | 2 Shepherd College, Shepherdstown, WV 25443
  • | 3 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, 45 Wiltshire Road, Kearneysville, WV 25430

The growth in diameter of large-(`Loring' and `Suncrest') and small-fruited (`Bailey' and `Boone County') peaches [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] was recorded at weekly intervals from 175 days prebloom to ripening. Samples collected at three dates prebloom, full bloom (FB), and four dates postbloom, including ripe fruit, were sectioned and stained. Total cell count and mean cell size were determined for prebloom ovaries and postbloom mesocarp tissue. Large-fruited cultivars had significantly more cells (up to 3.7 times) than small-fruited cultivars at all sampling dates. Cell sizes increased dramatically with fruit development, but were similar for all cultivars within each sampling date. These results suggest that mesocarp cell count is the major difference between small- and large-fruited peach cultivars and that this difference is determined early in the growth of the ovary.

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