Responses of Parthenocarpic Cucumbers to Low-oxygen Storage

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Vegetable Crops, Mann Laboratory, University of California, Davis, CA 95616


Parthenocarpic cucumber fruit (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Deliva) of marketable maturity (10 to 14 days after anthesis) were held at 12.5° or 20°C in reduced O2 levels for 5 or 18 days before transfer to air. Carbon dioxide production at reduced O2 levels was generally less than in air; however, at O2 levels < 0.5%, anaerobic respiration resulted in increased rates of CO2 production. Upon transfer to air after 18 days, all samples from reduced O2 showed increased CO2 production rates that equalled or exceeded that of the air controls. Except at 0.0% and 0.25% O2 levels, ethylene production was increased in reduced O2. After transfer to air, ethylene production increased and the increase was inversely related to the previous O2 level. Ethanol and acetaldehyde production were measureable for fruit held in 1% O2 after 18 days at 12.5° and showed dramatic increases at lower O2 levels. Low-O2 injury (pitting) developed on most fruit held at 0.0% O2 and on many fruit held at 0.25% O2. Only minima! commercial benefits are likely to be realized from storage of 1 to 3 weeks in 0.5% to 2.0% O2 at 12.5°.

Contributor Notes

Present address: Dept. of Biology, Univ. of Crete, 71110 Iraclion, Crete, Greece.

To whom reprint requests should be addressed.

Received for publication 6 Feb. 1987. The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations, this paper therefore must be hereby marked advertisement solely to indicate this fact.