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Apples before the fall: does shape stability coincide with maturity?

Christodoulou, M. D. and Culham, A. ORCID: (2021) Apples before the fall: does shape stability coincide with maturity? Quantitative Plant Biology, 2. e5. ISSN 2632-8828

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/qpb.2021.5


Fruit shape is the result of the interaction between genetic, epigenetic, environmental factors, and stochastic processes. As a core biological descriptor both for taxonomy and horticulture, the point at which shape stability is reached becomes paramount in apple cultivar identification, and authentication in commerce. Twelve apple cultivars were sampled at regular intervals from anthesis to harvest over two growing seasons. Linear and geometric morphometrics were analyzed to establish if and when shape stabilized and whether fruit asymmetry influenced this. Shape stability was detected in seven cultivars, four asymmetric and three symmetric. The remaining five did not stabilize. Shape stability, as defined here, is cultivar-dependent, and when it occurs, it is late in the growing season. Geometric morphometrics detected stability more readily than linear, especially in symmetric cultivars. Key shape features are important in apple marketing, giving the distinctness and apparent uniformity between cultivars expected at point of sale.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Central Services > Academic and Governance Services > University Museums and Special Collections
ID Code:97049
Uncontrolled Keywords:Taxonomy, Botany, Horticulture, Apple, Fruit, Morphometrics
Publisher:Cambridge University Press


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