Ethephon and diphenylamine (DPA) were used to examine the role of ethylene production in biochemical changes that precede development of superficial scald on `Cortland' apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) after cold storage. Treatments modified α-farnesene and conjugated triene (CT) accumulations in fruit peel, and their effects on CTs differed depending on whether CTs were measured at 258 nm (CT258) or 281 nm (CT281). Ethephon induced rapid and delayed effects on fruit, the former being stimulation of ethylene production and α-farnesene and CT accumulation in fruit peel, which could increase scald development, and the latter being a disproportionately higher accumulation of CT258 than of CT281 during prolonged cold storage, which was associated with reduced scald development. DPA treatment at harvest also produced rapid and delayed effects. It immediately reduced ethylene synthesis and α-farnesene and CT accumulation. In addition, during fruit storage at 0C, DPA reduced accumulation of CT281 more than that of CT258. The rapid and delayed effects of DPA should contribute to less scald development. These results showed that ethylene probably was involved in effects of ethephon and DPA on scald development and suggest that ethylene has a fundamental role in changes associated with superficial scald development.
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