Differences in fruit development among large- and small-fruited cultivars of saskatoon

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  • Fruit growth in saskatoons (Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt.), an emerging horticultural crop across the Canadian prairies, results from development of the mesocarp and the endocarp-locular-ovular structure which includes the developing seeds. Contribution of these tissues to fruit size was assessed using transverse sections of ovaries sampled at six developmental stages among large- and small-fruited cultivars. Mesocarp development was similar among the larger-fruited cultivars (Thiessen, Northline, and Smoky); the number of cells increased rapidly through Stage I [162 to 293 growing degree days (GDDs)] of fruit growth, and cell number increase was minimal during Stages II (293 to 577 GDDs) and III (577 to 747 GDDs). In Regent' fruit (a small-fruited cultivar), the maximal rate of cell division was delayed until Stage II and the mesocarp contained fewer cells than the larger-fruited cultivars at harvest maturity. Mesocarp cell enlargement was similar among all of the cultivars studied where cell expansion was maximal during Stage I and continued at a slower rate during Stages II and III. The area of the endocarp-locular-ovular structure was greatest forThiessen' and Northline', midrange forSmoky', and smallest for `Regent'. Data suggest that a minimum number of mesocarp cells early in fruit development is required to attain maximal mesocarp size, and that differences in cultivar fruit size are a function of both the mesocarp and the endocarp-locular-ovular structure.

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    © 2001 R. McGarry et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • McGarry, R., Ozga, J. A., & Reinecke, D. M. (2001). Differences in fruit development among large- and small-fruited cultivars of saskatoon. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 126(4), 381-385. Retrieved from: http://journal.ashspublications.org/content/126/4/381.short
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