The physiological responses associated with chilling of horticulturally mature cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) fruit were examined using 13 lines that differ in chilling sensitivity. The low correlation coefficient between pitting and decay suggested that these two early manifestations of chilling injury are not significantly related. Likewise, fruit pitting and decay were not highly correlated with the tolerance of seedlings to chilling, suggesting that fruit and seedlings of the same line may have dissimilar sensitivity to chilling temperatures. Exudates from fruit cut in half transversely were collected on filter paper. The amount of exudate showed a significant correlation with pitting, decay, and percent ion leakage after 10 days of chilling. The fresh and dry weight of the exudates from fruit kept for 8 days at 12.5C ranged from 141- to 346-mg fresh weight and from 15 to 47-mg dry weight, respectively. Cucumber lines that were more sensitive to chilling had watery exudate, as indicated by their lower dry weight and percent solids. The conductivity of exudates from sensitive lines was higher (60 μsiemen/cm) than from chilling resistant lines (30 μsiemen/cm). Chilling-induced ethylene production was higher in sensitive than in resistant lines, and chilling caused a greater loss of ethylene forming enzyme activity in resistant lines than from chilling sensitive lines.
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