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G.W. Cheng and P.J. Breen

Number of cells and mean cell volume of strawberry receptacles were determined throughout the development of secondary fruit of three day-neutral cultivars grown in a greenhouse. Receptacle tissue was digested with pectinase and cellulase and number of cells determined with a Batch counting chamber. Cultivars differed in fruit size throughout development. The size of ripe fruit was small (3.8 g) in `Tillikum', medium (11.6 g) in `TriStar', and large (15.6 g) in `Selva'. Cell division continued in all cultivars for 15 days after anthesis (DAA) and was exponential during the first 10 days. The number of cell per fruit after 15 DAA averaged 0.71, 1.96, and 2.94×106 for `Tillikum', `TriStar', and `Selva' respectively. Mean cell volume, as estimated from number of cells and volume of receptacle tissue, increased rapidly between 10 and 25 DAA. Cells of the pith were larger than those of the cortex during early fruit development. Mean cell volume of mature fruit was approximately 6×106 μm3 in the three cultivars. Genotypic variation in fruit size was primarily due to the difference in number of receptacle cells.