Susceptibility to Chilling Injury of Peach, Nectarine, and Plum Cultivars Grown in California

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  • 1 Department of Pomology, University of California, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier, CA 93648
  • 2 Department of Pomology, University of California, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier, CA 93648
  • 3 Department of Pomology, University of California, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier, CA 93648

The susceptibility to chilling injury (CI) or internal breakdown (IB) was evaluated in the most currently planted yellow- and white-flesh peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] and nectarine [Prunus persica var. nectarine (L.) Batsch] and plum [Prunus salicina Lindel] cultivars from different breeding sources and fruit types. Cultivars were segregated into three categories (Cat. A, B, and C) according to their susceptibility to CI or IB symptoms (mealiness and flesh browning) when exposed to 0 °C or 5 °C storage temperatures. Cultivars in Cat. A did not develop any symptoms of CI after 5 weeks of storage at either temperature. Cultivars in Cat. B developed symptoms only when stored at 5 °C within 5 weeks of storage. Cultivars were classified in Cat. C when fruit developed CI symptoms at both storage temperatures within 5 weeks of storage. Most of the yellow- and white-flesh peach cultivars developed IB symptoms when stored at both storage temperatures (Cat. C). Most of the new nectarine cultivar introductions did not develop CI symptoms when stored at 0 °C or 5 °C after 5 weeks (Cat. A). Three out of six plum cultivars tested had CI symptoms within 5 weeks storage at 0 °C. However, all of the plum cultivars tested developed CI symptoms when stored at 5 °C (Cat. B). The importance of proper temperature management during postharvest handling was demonstrated.

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