Responses of Apples to Postharvest Jasmonate Treatments

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Tree Fruit Research Laboratory, 1104 North Western Avenue, Wenatchee WA 98801
  • 2 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6414

The effect of exogenous methyl jasmonate (MJ) and jasmonic acid (JA) compared with the effect of ethephon on surface color and quality of `Golden Delicious' and `Fuji' apples (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) was studied. Treatments were applied by dipping fruit in water solutions of JA, MJ, or ethephon or by exposing fruit to MJ vapors. Response to MJ vapor treatment depended on fruit developmental stage, with the maximum effect occurring as fruit began to produce ethylene. MJ promoted color changes more effectively than JA. The promotive effect of JA increased with JA concentration. A minimum concentration of 0.1 mmol·L-1 JA was needed to promote significant color change within 15 d at 20 °C. JA at 1 or 10 mmol·L-1 promoted color change more effectively than 0.35 or 3.5 mmol·L-1 ethephon. The magnitude of JA-promoted responses decreased at lower temperatures. Treatments with 10 mmol·L-1 JA or 3.5 mmol·L-1 ethephon were phytotoxic. Treatments using JA at 1 or 10 mmol·L-1 in water promoted loss of fruit titratable acidity compared to controls. Firmness and soluble solids content were relatively unresponsive to JA treatments. Based on these results, using JA and MJ to promote degreening of apple fruit with minimal loss of other quality attributes appears feasible.

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