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807/240 Susceptibility to Mechanical Damage LINK

Publication Date: 
15 August 2011
Author/Contact :
Author/Contact: 
Ron Croy

Contractor :
Contractor: 
Durham University

Full Research Project Title: Enhanced prediction of susceptibility to mechanical damage
Duration: March 2003 - Feb 2006

Aim: To develop a sensitive, rapid chemical test for detecting susceptibility to blackspot bruising in field grown and in stored tuber material.

At the start of the project it was known that cells in damaged tubers generate a burst of highly reactive molecules known as free radicals- the more susceptible tubers are to bruising the more free radicals are produced. This information was the basis for developing a test to predict bruising susceptibility. A kit was produced including hardware (an impactor and a corer) to initiate the production of free radicals and bottles containing reagents to indicate the amount of free radicals produced.

Field studies were carried out using the kit to test how bruising susceptibility varied between fields and at different locations within fields. Work was carried out to relate the results obtained using the kit with those from commercial assessments of tuber damage. Feedback on the kit was provided by commercial partners on the project. It was concluded that the impactor was easy to use, but that the time and hygiene levels needed to carry out the work with the chemical reagents were limitations to the widespread adoption of the kit by industry.

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