, Volume 240, Issue 4, pp 891–897

Evidence for a radial strain gradient in apple fruit cuticles

  • Bishnu Prasad Khanal
  • Moritz Knoche
  • Sara Bußler
  • Oliver Schlüter
Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s00425-014-2132-0

Cite this article as:
Khanal, B.P., Knoche, M., Bußler, S. et al. Planta (2014) 240: 891. doi:10.1007/s00425-014-2132-0


Main conclusion

The morphological outer side of the apple fruit cuticle is markedly more strained than the inner side. This strain is released upon wax extraction.

This paper investigates the effect of ablating outer and inner surfaces of isolated cuticular membranes (CM) of mature apple (Malus × domestica) fruit using cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAPP) on the release of strain after extraction of waxes. Strain release was quantified as the decrease in area of CM discs following CAPP treatment and subsequent solvent extraction of wax. Increasing duration of CAPP treatment proportionally decreased CM mass per unit area. There was no difference in mass loss rate between CAPP treatments of outer or inner surfaces. Also, there was no difference in surface area of CMs before and after CAPP treatment. However, upon subsequent wax extraction, surface area of CMs decreased indicating the release of strain. Increasing the duration of CAPP treatment resulted in increasing strain release up to 47.7 ± 8.0 % at 20 min when CAPP was applied to the inner surface. In contrast, strain release was independent of CAPP duration averaging about 12.1 ± 0.6 % when applied to the outer surface of the CM. Our results provide evidence for a marked gradient of strain between the outer side (strained) and the inner side of the CM (not strained) of mature apple fruit.


Cuticle Fracture Microcrack Stress Rheology 



Surface area


Cold atmospheric pressure plasma


Cuticular membrane


Cuticular proper


Cuticular layer



Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bishnu Prasad Khanal
    • 1
  • Moritz Knoche
    • 1
  • Sara Bußler
    • 2
  • Oliver Schlüter
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Horticultural Production Systems, Leibniz University HannoverHannoverGermany
  2. 2.Department of Horticultural EngineeringLeibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-BornimPotsdamGermany

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