To determine if apple cultivars vary in their response to aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) and heat treatment, alone or combined, postharvest ripening traits and storability of treated Lodi, Senshu, Red Delicious and Fuji have been studied. An aqueous solution of AVG was applied 4 weeks before harvest of each cultivar at 124 g·ha-1 a.i. Control and AVG-treated fruit were heated at 38 °C for 4 days. Fruit were ripened at ambient temperature immediately harvest and treatment, or after storage at 4 °C for 30 days. AVG reduced firmness loss in all but Fuji apples immediately after harvest, and that effect was maintained in Senshu and Red Delicious apples after 30 days in cold storage. All AVG-treated fruit showed a reduction in respiration rate and ethylene production immediately after harvest as well as after removal from cold storage. Heat treatment alone prevented firmness loss in Senshu and Red Delicious cultivars, and slightly reduced respiration rate of Lodi and Senshu apples. Ethylene production was clearly lower in heated compared to non-heated fruit in Senshu, Red Delicious and Fuji. After cold storage, AVG and heat treatments combined decreased flesh firmness loss of Lodi apples, reduced respiration in Lodi and Fuji apples, and highly repressed ethylene production of Red Delicious and Fuji fruit. Overall, AVG seemed to have a stronger effect on the measured ripening traits, and its combination with heat treatment improved fruit quality of cold-stored Lodi apples and reduced ethylene production the most for all but Lodi.
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