369 Relationship Between Ethylene Production and Accumulation of Cuticular Constituents in `Delicious' Apples During Fruit Ripening at Room Temperature

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  • 1 USDA, ARS, Tree Fruit Research Lab, 1104 North Western Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801
  • | 2 Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 01003

Developmental changes in total cuticle and cuticular constituents were studied with `Delicious' fruit. Total wax (0.31 mg/cm2) and total cutin (0.54 mg/cm2, including carbohydrate polymers) were low in young fruit. They increased during fruit growth and reached 1.41 and 2.47 mg/cm2 of fruit peel at harvest, respectively. During fruit ripening at 20 °C, total cutin did not change, but total wax increased rapidly and reached 2.15 mg•cm-2 at 6 weeks. The increase of cuticular wax paralleled the increase of internal ethylene in fruit. Wax was separated by column chromatograph into four portions, hydrocarbons and wax esters, free alcohols, free fatty acids, and diols. More than half of the diols was ursolic acid. During fruit development, more hydrocarbons and diols accumulated in cuticle than free fatty acids and alcohols. During fruit ripening, all of the four portions increased, coincident with the climacteric rise in ethylene, but the increase rates of free fatty acids and alcohols were higher than those of other portions. Aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG, 220 mg•L-1) preharvest treatment inhibited internal ethylene synthesis to below 0.5 μL•L-1 during 6 weeks at 20 °C, and also inhibited wax accumulation. Ethephon (200 mg/L) preharvest treatment increased ethylene production and accelerated wax accumulation. α-farnesene accumulation coincided with increased internal ethylene and paralleled free fatty acid and alcohol accumulation.

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