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  • Author or Editor: William E. Schadel x
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Wound healing in cucumber fruit (Cucumis sativus L., cv. Calypso) was studied using histological and degradative techniques. A thick exudate appeared at the wounded surface shortly after wounding. This material retarded water loss and possibly aided in the formation of sclerified parenchyma observed 24 hours after wounding. The sclerified material was positive to a modified Weisner stain, indicating lignification was occurring. Wound periderm (cork) was initiated directly beneath the sclerified parenchyma cells within 48 hours after wounding. The cork layers were positive to Sudan IV stain, indicating suberin was being formed. The rate of phellem development decreased by 6 days after wounding. By day 7, younger phellem cells and sclerified parenchyma cells were stained by Sudan IV. Degradation of the wound tissue by chemical procedures demonstrated that relatively large amounts of lignin and suberin were deposited during healing. Fragments from the lignin degradation Indicated that lignin was composed mainly of gualacyl and p-hydroxyphenyl residues. Suberin was found to contain mainly 1,16-hexadecane and 1,18-osctadecene decarboxylic acids detected as the silylated diol derivatives.

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Freshly harvested sweet potatoes [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam. c. Jewel] are cured by holding them at 80–95% relative humidity and 29.4°C for 5 to 7 days. Curing heals wounds inflicted during harvest, thus minimizing loss from microbial decay during subsequent storage. The wound healing process was followed by applying a saturated solution of phloroglucinol in strong acid (PG) to the underside of detached wound tissue and scoring the intensity of the color developed. Microscopic examination of companion tissue with PG showed that color intensity was due to the layers of cells in which PG positive material was deposited. Wound periderm formation was observed to occur simultaneously with development of the most intense color, indicating that the test may be useful in the evaluation of curing progress.

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