Reduction of Ethylene-induced Physiological Disorders of Carrots and Iceberg Lettuce by 1-Methylcyclopropene

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  • 1 Tree Fruit Research Laboratory, Agriculture Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1104 N. Western Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801
  • 2 Tree Fruit Research Laboratory, Agriculture Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1104 N. Western Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801

Whole carrots (Daucus carota L.) and midrib tissues of iceberg lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) were treated with 42 μmol·m-3 MCP, then exposed to ethylene. Exposure to 42 μmol·m-3 ethylene at 10 °C increased isocoumarin content ≈40-fold in both peel and pulp of nontreated carrots within 4 days, but treatment with MCP for 4 hours at 20 °C before exposure to ethylene prevented isocoumarin accumulation. Ethylene-induced acidity loss and respiration rate increase in carrots were also prevented by MCP treatment. Ethylene treatment (126 μmol·m-3) of lettuce at 6 °C had induced russet spotting >5% to 10% of the midrib tissue by day 3 and 30% to 35% by day 9, while pretreatment with MCP for 4 hours at 6 °C prevented development of russet spotting. The results indicate that ethylene-induced physiological disorders and quality loss in carrots and iceberg lettuce can be prevented by MCP treatment prior to exposure to ethylene. Chemical name used: 1-methylcyclopropene (MCP).

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Contributor Notes

current address: USDA, ARS, ERRC, 600 Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038. E-mail address: xfan@arserrc.govE-mail address: mattheis@tfrl.ars.usda.gov
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