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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Electron Probe Analysis of Ca, Mg, and K in the Fruit of the Tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum, with Reference to Blossom-end Rot


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 64 No. 5, p. 586-588
    Received: Nov 19, 1971

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  1. Sylvia A. Murray,
  2. Arthur R. Spurr and
  3. Kenneth N. Paulson2



In order to increase our understanding of the incipient stages of blossom-end rot in tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum), s,nail pieces of pericarp tissue of immature fruits from the fruit apex, middle, and base were analyzed for Ca, K, and Mg. The vertical distribution of these elements and the relationships of the elements to each other were determined in healthy fruits and compared with those in blossom-end rot fruits. In situ elemental analysis was done by an electron microprobe equipped with Ca, K, and Mg detectors for simultaneous analysis. There was virtually no difference in Ca, K, or Mg content between healthy and blossom-end rot fruits, but there was a notable shift in the distribution of K between the healthy and blossom-end rot fruits where K content increased in the fruit apex 10-fold and decreased in the fruit base 2-fold in blossom-end rot fruits. This study has shown that blossom-end rot is characterized by elemental relationships not apparent in healthy fruits, specifically the independence of K and Mg, and a significant (1% level) inverse relationship between Ca and Mg.

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