European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 143, Issue 2, pp 317–330 | Cite as

Role of lenticels and microcracks on susceptibility of apple fruit to Botryosphaeria dothidea

  • Yeqing Guan
  • Ruifeng Chang
  • Guojian Liu
  • Yi Wang
  • Ting Wu
  • Zhenhai Han
  • Xinzhong Zhang


Apple ring rot, caused by Botryosphaeria dothidea, is one of the most serious diseases affecting apple industry in East Asia. To study the correlation between fruit natural exocarp structures and susceptibility to B. dothidea, lesion length of Malus domestica cultivars and Malus germplasm accessions was measured 14 days after in vitro inoculation with B. dothidea mycelia at different developmental stages. Area per fruit surface (APFS) of lenticels and microcracks and thickness of cuticular wax were observed. Lesion length, lenticel APFS and cuticular wax thickness varied significantly among the 11 cultivars studied. A positive correlation between lesion length and lenticel APFS and a negative correlation between lesion length and cuticular wax thickness were detected among cultivars and during fruit development. In addition, similar correlations were validated in nine Malus germplasm accessions. Numerous microcracks were observed on surfaces of Golden Delicious and Golden Spur fruit, accounting for 90 % of the natural openings. The hyphae of B. dothidea penetrated into exocarp through both lenticels and microcracks. Fruit bagging with double-layered paper bags and exogenous GA4+7 reduced lenticel APFS, thickened cuticular wax and elevated resistance to disease. Natural openings on fruit exocarp are an important factor affecting susceptibility of apple to B. dothidea.


Apple ring rot Botryosphaeria dothidea Cuticular wax Lenticel Malus Microcrack 



Area per fruit surface


Days after full bloom


Light microscopy


Scanning electron microscopy



This project was supported by the National High-Tech R&D Program of China (2011AA001204) and the Key Laboratory of Beijing Municipality of Stress Physiology and Molecular Biology for Fruit Trees.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. The authors also state that a) the paper has not been previously published and is not under consideration by another journal; b) that all authors have agreed with the contents of the manuscript and its submission to this journal; c) all authors listed have contributed significantly to the work and agree to be in the author list.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yeqing Guan
    • 1
  • Ruifeng Chang
    • 2
  • Guojian Liu
    • 2
  • Yi Wang
    • 1
  • Ting Wu
    • 1
  • Zhenhai Han
    • 1
  • Xinzhong Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Horticultural PlantsChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Changli Institute of PomologyHebei Academy of Agriculture and Forestry SciencesChangliChina

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