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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 682: V International Postharvest Symposium

MICROMECHANICAL BEHAVIOUR OF ONION EPIDERMAL TISSUE

Authors:   E. Vanstreels, B. Verlinden, M.C. Alamar Gavidia, B. Nicolaļ, A. Enninghorst, J.K.A. Loodts, H. Ramon
Keywords:   Allium cepa L., tensile test, elasticity modulus, strength, turgor pressure, cell structural parameters
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2005.682.54
Abstract:
Mechanical properties of onion epidermal tissue were measured using a miniature tensile stage mounted under a microscope. Epidermis peels were subjected to tensile tests while the deformation of the individual cells in the tissue was followed and recorded. Onion epidermal peels were found to produce a biphasic stress/strain curve, as also found for other biological materials and synthetic composite materials. The relationship between the measured mechanical properties and the cell structural parameters (dimensions of cells, thickness of the cell wall, turgor pressure) was investigated. Analysis of the images recorded at subsequent time instances in the test allows the measurement of the cell deformations. The information gained provides insight into factors determining the mechanical properties of vegetative tissues and will serve as input for the development of models to describe and to predict mechanical behaviour of plant tissues.

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