Irrigation Regimes Affect Fruit Soluble Solids Concentration and Rate of Water Loss of `O'Henry' Peaches

in HortScience

The effect of irrigation management strategies on the quality and storage performance of `O'Henry' peaches [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] was studied for two seasons. The deficit irrigation treatment induced a higher fruit soluble solids concentration and lower fruit weight. The excess irrigation treatment, compared to the optimum treatment, increased the rate of fruit water loss without altering fruit quality and storage performance. Scanning electron microscope observations indicated a higher density of trichomes on fruit from the deficit and optimum irrigation treatments than from the excess irrigation treatment. Light microscopy studies indicated that fruit from deficit and optimum irrigation had a continuous and much thicker cuticle than fruit from the excess irrigation treatment. These differences in exodermis structure may explain the high percentage of water loss from fruit from the excess irrigation treatment compared to the deficit and optimum irrigation treatments.

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