3D modelling of mango fruit skin blush in the tree canopy

X. Yu, N. White, A. Lisle, S.F. Cao, Y. Zhang, D.C. Joyce, P.J. Hofman
The fruit of certain mango cultivars (e.g., 'Honey Gold') can develop blush on their skin. Skin blush due to red pigmentation is from the accumulation of anthocyanins. Anthocyanin biosynthesis is related to environmental determinants, including light received by the fruit. It has been observed that mango skin blush varies with position in the tree canopy. However, little investigation into this spatial relationship has been conducted. The objective of this preliminary study was to describe a 'Honey Gold' mango tree by capturing its three-dimensional (3D) architecture. A light path tracing model QuasiMC was then used to predict light received by fruit. The use of this 3D model was to better understand the relationship between mango fruit skin blush and fruit position in the canopy. The digitised mango tree mimicked the real tree at a high level of detail. Observations on mango skin blush distribution supported the proposition that sunlight exposure is an absolute requirement for anthocyanin development. No blush development occurred on shaded skin. It was affirmed that 3D mapping could allow for virtual experiments. For example, for virtual canopy thinning (e.g., 'window pruning') to admit more sunlight with a view to improve fruit blush. Improvements to 3D modelling of mango skin blush could focus on increasing accuracy, e.g., measurement of leaf light reflectance and transmission and the inclusion of the effect shading by branches.
Yu, X., White, N., Lisle, A., Cao, S.F., Zhang, Y., Joyce, D.C. and Hofman, P.J. (2016). 3D modelling of mango fruit skin blush in the tree canopy. Acta Hortic. 1111, 341-346
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1111.49
Mangifera indica, digitise, tree architecture, fruit position, light intensity, anthocyanins

Acta Horticulturae