New insights into the properties of pubescent surfaces: peach fruit as a model



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Fernández, Victoria and Khayet Souhaimi, Mohamed and Montero Prado, Pablo and Heredia Guerrero, José Alejandro and Liakopoulos, Georgios and Karabourniotis, George and Río, Víctor del and Domínguez, Eva and Tacchini, Ignacio and Nerin, Cristina and Val, Jesús and Heredia, Antonio (2011) New insights into the properties of pubescent surfaces: peach fruit as a model. Plant physiology, 156 (4). pp. 2098-2108. ISSN 0032-0889

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The surface of peach (Prunus persica 'Calrico') is covered by a dense indumentum, which may serve various protective purposes. With the aim of relating structure to function, the chemical composition, morphology, and hydrophobicity of the peach skin was assessed as a model for a pubescent plant surface. Distinct physicochemical features were observed for trichomes versus isolated cuticles. Peach cuticles were composed of 53% cutan, 27% waxes, 23% cutin, and 1% hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives (mainly ferulic and p-coumaric acids). Trichomes were covered by a thin cuticular layer containing 15% waxes and 19% cutin and were filled by polysaccharide material (63%) containing hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives and flavonoids. The surface free energy, polarity, and work of adhesion of intact and shaved peach surfaces were calculated from contact angle measurements of water, glycerol, and diiodomethane. The removal of the trichomes from the surface increased polarity from 3.8% (intact surface) to 23.6% and decreased the total surface free energy chiefly due to a decrease on its nonpolar component. The extraction of waxes and the removal of trichomes led to higher fruit dehydration rates. However, trichomes were found to have a higher water sorption capacity as compared with isolated cuticles. The results show that the peach surface is composed of two different materials that establish a polarity gradient: the trichome network, which has a higher surface free energy and a higher dispersive component, and the cuticle underneath, which has a lower surface free energy and higher surface polarity. The significance of the data concerning water-plant surface interactions is discussed within a physiological context.

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© 2011 American Society of Plant Biologists. This work was supported by a Ramón y Cajal contract from the Ministry of Science and Innovation, Spain, cofinanced by the European Social Fund (to V.F.), by a Ph.D. grant from the Government of the Republic of Panama (grant no. SENACYT-IFARHU to P.M.-P.), and by the Programa Nacional de Proyectos de Investigación Fundamental (project nos. AGL2009-08501/AGR and AGL2009-12134/AGR). We thank Drs. M.J. Rubio, A. Wünsch, and J.M. Alonso (Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón), Dr. M.J. Aranzana (Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries), Dr. G. Reighard (Clemson University), and J.L. Espada (Centro de Transferencia Agroalimentaria del Gobierno de Aragón) for providing information about the origins of peaches and on the characteristics of Calanda peaches.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Ultraviolet-B radiation; Olea-Europaea leaves; Leaf surface; Plant cuticles; Epicuticular phenolics; Optical-properties; Trichome layers; Redwood forest; Ferulic acid; Quercus-ilex
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Thermodynamics
ID Code:26087
Deposited On:18 Jul 2014 11:49
Last Modified:11 Nov 2015 16:28

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