Anatomical changes in ‘York Imperial’ apples were studied sequentially throughout the growing season to discover tissue variances occurring within the fruit at different stages of development. Several abnormalities have occurred during fruit enlargement, some of which may develop into corking disorders, including bitter pit and cork spot. Cellular abnormalities appeared contiguous to large lacunae, senescing vascular bundles or in tissues where cell proliferation was apparent.
Abnormalities adjacent to necrotic vascular bundles in the outer cortical region were apparent early in. the life of the fruit, by 14 days after full bloom. Changes in cellular structure continued 65 days after full bloom from the outer cortex to the epidermis, and extended to the bundles underlying this area. Cell division had ceased, and the cell walls were thick with a distinct demarkation line between the affected and unaffected tissues. Tissues of the basin region were susceptible to the development of corking disorders, while senescent vascular bundles and meristematic tissues were evident within the core line.
Necrosis of vascular bundles extended along the core line in the fruit apex 95 days after full bloom, and tissue proliferation occurred by 115 days. Fruit development 126 days after full bloom revealed large lacunae in the outer cortex and extreme cell proliferation resembling callus tissue in the cavity at the point of fruit-pedicel attachment.
Origin of corking disorders, visible on fruit nearing maturation (112 days after full bloom), could be traced from tissue anomalies in the outer cortex. The spots appeared irregular in outline, yellowish-green in color; while a glossy, scalded appearance surrounded this area. Meristematic activity of the parenchyma cells along the core line was apparent 126 days after full bloom.
Received for publication July 6, 1970. This research was supported by funds from the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station.