1-Methylcyclopropene, CO2, and Diphenylamine Interactions with External CO2 Injury of `Empire' Apples

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  • 1 Cornell University, Horticulture

The `Empire' apple cultivar is susceptible to external CO2 injury, a physiological disorder that is expressed as tan-colored, smooth, watersoaked areas that become irregularly shaped, rough, depressed, and wrinkled. 1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) may increase susceptibility of fruit to external CO2 injury during controlled atmosphere (CA) storage. We have investigated the effects of 1-MCP on external CO2 injury of `Empire' apple using several approaches. 1) Fruit were treated with 1%, 2.5%, and 5% CO2 during storage. Higher injury levels were associated with exposure to higher CO2 concentrations. 2) Fruit were exposed to 2.5% or 5% CO2 for 3-week periods throughout storage, otherwise being kept at 1% CO2. Most injury occurred in fruit treated with elevated CO2 during the first 3 weeks of storage, and 1-MCP did not extend the period of susceptibility to injury. 3) Exposure of fruit to CA with 5% CO2 after harvest was delayed for up to 14 days. Susceptibility to injury remained high during the delay in 1-MCP-treated fruit in contrast to untreated fruit. 4) Fruit were treated with 250, 500, and 1000 μL·L-1 diphenylamine (DPA), an antioxidant applied for control of superficial scald that is known to prevent susceptibility of fruit to CO2 injury at 1000 μL·L-1. The DPA eliminated injury in 1-MCP treated fruit, even at 250 μL·L-1. Our data show that 1-MCP increases susceptibility of `Empire' apples to external CO2 injury and extra care is therefore required to avoid fruit losses. Nonchemical means may reduce losses, but only DPA application has been shown to eliminate risk of injury.

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