`Stayman' Fruit Cracking as Affected by Surfactants, Plant Growth Regulators, and Other Chemicals

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Winchester-Agricultural Experiment Station, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2500 Valley Avenue, Winchester, VA 22601

Submerging `Stayman' apples in nonionic and anionic surfactant-water solutions caused increased water uptake and fruit cracking. The primary sites of water uptake were lenticels and injured areas of the fruit cuticle. Fruit cracking caused by submerging fruit in 1.25 ml X-77/liter surfactant was used to predict the natural cracking potential of `Stayman' strains and apple cultivars in the field. Submerging apples in aqueous pesticide mixtures did not Increase fruit cracking or water uptake. Fruit cracking and uptake of surfactant-water were not correlated between apple cultivars. In a surfactant-water bath, `Starkrimson Delicious' absorbed more water than `Stayman', `York', `Jonathan', and `Golden Delicious'; no `Starkrimson Delicious' fruits cracked, but 32% to 80% of the other cultivars did. In field tests, four airblast spray applications of GA4+7 in July and Aug. 1987 reduced fruit cracking from 56% to 21%, and five applications In July, Aug., and Sept. 1988 reduced fruit cracking from 93% to 75%. In 1987, daminozide reduced cracking, but, in 1988, neither daminozide, NAA, nor Vapor Gard alone reduced cracking. However, in 1988, a combination treatment of GA4+7, daminozide, NAA, and Vapor Gard reduced fruit cracking from 93% to 22%. Also, two scorings of the trunk with a carpet knife reduced fruit cracking 22%. Chemical names used: alkylaryl polyoxyethylene alcohol glycol (X-77); butanedioic acid mono(2,2-dimethylhydrazide) (daminozide); naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA); di-1-p-methene (Vapor Gard); gibberellic acid (GA4+7).

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