Ethephon Increases Carotene Content and Intensifies Root Color of Carrots

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  • 1 Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0124
  • 2 Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0124

Poor root color is a recurring problem in carrot (Daucus carota L.) production. Consumers prefer dark orange carrots that are high in carotene. However, unfavorable environmental conditions and certain production practices can lead to light orange roots with low carotene content. Growers sometimes refer to this as “white root.” No one has clearly established the causes or cures for this disorder. Several environmental factors are known to affect the color of carrots, but to date there is no practical treatment. High-density planting often reduces carotene content. Field studies were conducted in the 1995-96 and 1996-97 winter growing seasons to determine if foliar applications of ethephon would improve carrot color, carotene content, and yield. Carotene content and root color increased as the number of applications or the amount of ethephon applied with each application increased. Root weight was not significantly affected.

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To whom reprint requests should be addressed; e-mail: milt@ucrac1.ucr.edu
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