Preharvest Application of Methyl Jasmonate to 'Fuji' Apples Enhances Red Coloration and Affects Fruit Size, Splitting, and Bitter Pit Incidence

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99146-6414
  • 2 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Tree Fruit Research Laboratory, 1104 North Western Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801-1230

Repeated preharvest applications of methyl jasmonate (MJ) to 'Fuji' apple [Malus sylvestris var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] fruit were evaluated for impacts on peel color, size, fruit finish, and maturation. MJ treatments at 2 week intervals began 48 days after full bloom (DAFB) (early season) or 119 DAFB (late season) and fruit were harvested 172 DAFB. MJ treatment stimulated significant increases in peel red color following the initial application and thereafter. Early season MJ treatment reduced fruit diameter and length to diameter ratio but slowed softening and starch hydrolysis. Fruit receiving late season MJ treatments had increased incidence of bitter pit and splitting, shorter green life, and slower softening. Results suggest preharvest application of MJ impacts apple color development and other aspects of fruit quality. Chemical name used: methyl 3-oxo-2-(2-pentenyl)cyclopentane-1-acetate (methyl jasmonate).

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Contributor Notes

Research plant physiologist and corresponding author; e-mail mattheis@tfrl.ars.usda.gov.
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