‘Honeycrisp’ apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] is a relatively new cultivar, which was released by the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station in 1991 (Luby and Bedford, 1992). The fruit has outstanding flavor characteristics and can remain crisp for at least 6 months in cold storage (Tong et al., 1999). Unfortunately, ‘Honeycrisp’ is also extremely susceptible to the storage disorders soft scald and soggy breakdown (Tong et al., 2003; Watkins et al., 2004).
Soft scald, also known as ribbon scald or deep scald, is a low-temperature disorder that is characterized by sharply defined, irregularly shaped brown lesions on the apple skin (Meheriuk et al., 1994; Snowdon, 1990). Damage can extend beneath the skin into the flesh and the lesions are often invaded by secondary infections. The disorder is induced by storing apples below 2 or 3 °C (Meheriuk et al., 1994; Snowdon, 1990). Other factors implicated in the occurrence of soft scald include advanced fruit maturity at the time of harvest, growing location and climate (dull, cool, wet summers), light crops, large fruit, vigorous trees on heavy soils, and fruit mineral content (Tong et al., 2003; Snowdon, 1990). Soft scald incidence has been shown to be negatively related to precipitation during 90 to 120 d from bloom (Moran et al., 2009).
Postharvest application of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), an inhibitor of ethylene action, has been shown to reduce certain storage disorders in apples (DeEll et al., 2002, 2007, 2008; Fan et al., 1999b; Watkins and Nock, 2005; Watkins et al., 2000). Soft scald was reduced by postharvest 1-MCP in ‘Fuji’ apples after 6 months of storage (Fan et al., 1999b). In contrast, postharvest 1-MCP treatment had little effect on soft scald incidence in ‘Honeycrisp’ apples over multiple years of study (DeEll and Murr, unpublished data). Preharvest 1-MCP application on apples has been recently investigated as orchard sprays with the major focus being on reduced fruit drop and fruit maturity (Elfving et al., 2007; McArtney et al., 2009; Yuan and Carbaugh, 2007; Yuan and Li, 2008). The objective of the current study was to investigate the effectiveness of preharvest 1-MCP treatment on the development of soft scald in ‘Honeycrisp’ apples. In addition, the effects of preharvest 1-MCP on fruit quality at harvest and after storage were examined.
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Watkins, C.B., Nock, J.F., Weis, S.A., Jayanty, S. & Beaudry, R.M. 2004 Storage temperature, diphenylamine, and pre-storage delay effects on soft scald, soggy breakdown and bitter pit of ‘Honeycrisp’ apples Postharvest Biol. Technol. 32 213 221
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