The ethylene action inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) prevents plant tissues from responding to ethylene (Sisler and Blankenship, 1996) by combining with ethylene receptors (Sisler and Serek, 1997). Impacts of 1-MCP demonstrated for many apple cultivars include reduction of ethylene production and respiration rates, slower progression of ripening processes, including softening, loss of acidity, yellowing, volatile production, and reduced development of some physiological disorders (Fan et al., 1999a, 1999b; Ferenczi et al., 2006; Johnson, 2003; Lurie et al., 2002; Mattheis et al., 2005; Pre-Aymard et al., 2005; Rupasinghe et al., 2000; Watkins et al., 2000). Responses to 1-MCP for apples cold-stored in air can be comparable with that of midterm (4 to 6 months) CA storage of apples not treated with 1-MCP, and the combination of 1-MCP treatment followed by CA storage can extend the effectiveness of 1-MCP treatment (DeLong et al., 2004; Mattheis et al., 2005; Watkins et al., 2000; Zanella, 2003).
Efficacy of 1-MCP for delaying apple fruit ripening is concentration and treatment duration-dependent (Argenta et al., 2005; Dauny and Joyce, 2002; DeEll et al., 2002; Fan et al., 1999a; Jayanty et al., 2004; Pre-Aymard et al., 2003; Rupasinghe et al., 2000). Maximum benefits from 1-MCP treatment occur when apple fruit are harvested and treated at the preclimacteric stage of development (Argenta et al., 2005; Mir et al., 2001; Moran and McManus, 2005). Maximum control of fruit softening, superficial scald, and senescent breakdown for apples is achieved by treatment as soon after harvest as possible (Argenta et al., 2005; Watkins and Nock, 2005).
The low boiling point (less than 10 °C) of 1-MCP (Sisler and Serek, 1997) allows the material to be applied as a gas in a sealed space, including commercial CA storage rooms. However, application of 1-MCP in water would enable postharvest treatments as a dip or line spray during the packing process. Application of 1-MCP in water could allow application when sealed rooms are not available, when room filling will be delayed, or to treat only fruit that will be packed after nonpackable fruit has been segregated. Field application of an aqueous 1-MCP solution applied to citrus reduces ethephon-induced leaf abscission with little effect on fruit detachment force (Pozo et al., 2004). The efficacy of a postharvest application of 1-MCP in water to delay ripening of a climacteric fruit has not been reported.
The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of postharvest application of 1-MCP in air or water to alter ripening of ‘Golden Delicious’ apples during storage at 20 °C or after CA.
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Zanella, A. 2003 Control of apple superficial scald and ripening - a comparison between 1-methylcyclopropene and diphenylamine postharvest treatments, initial low oxygen stress and ultra low oxygen storage Postharvest Biol. Technol. 27 69 78