The effects of gene B on susceptibility to chilling injury (CI) in two types of summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) were investigated. Two pairs of near-isogenic lines with (BB) and without (B+ B+) gene B were included in the study: `Caserta' (B+ B+) and `Precocious Caserta' (BB) of the vegetable marrow type, and `Benning's Green Tint' (B+ B+) and `Benning's Yellow Tint' (BB) of the scallop type. Respiration and ethylene evolution at nonchilling temperature were consistently higher in marrows than in scallops. Gene B had no influence on respiratory rates at nonchilling temperatures; however, the presence of gene B enhanced the chilling-induced stimulation of respiration in both marrows and scallops. Temporal differences in the patterns of chilling-induced stimulation of ethylene evolution indicated a greater sensitivity to chilling in marrows than in scallops and in both types in the presence of gene B. Electrolyte leakage was decreased by storage at chilling temperature in both marrow genotypes and was not influenced by storage temperature in B+ B+ scallops, but was increased by storage at chilling temperature in BB scallops. Therefore, electrolyte leakage was not a good CI index for these summer squash.
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