The relationship between chlorophyll fluorescence of `Cortland', `Redchief Delicious', and `Empire' apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) fruit and the development of superficial scald was studied during 120 days of refrigerated air (RA) storage at 0 °C and during 7 days of poststorage holding at 22 °C. Minimal fluorescence (Fo), maximal fluorescence (Fm), photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm, where Fv=Fm=Fo) and coefficient of photochemical fluorescence quenching (qp) were measured. During storage, while Fv/Fm and Fm declined in `Cortland' and `Redchief Delicious' fruit over time, these two measures of chlorophyll fluorescence remained stable in `Empire' fruit. Of the three cultivars, only `Empire' is resistant to and did not develop superficial scald. A decline in Fv/Fm preceded scald development in `Cortland' and `Redchief Delicious' fruit. After 30 days of storage, qp began to decrease in fruit from all three cultivars. Prestorage diphenylamine (DPA) application had no effect on Fv/Fm, Fo, and Fm and only marginally improved maintenance of qp, but completely prevented the development of superficial scald. Poststorage holding at 22 °C accelerated the rate of change in most fluorescence measurements. The decline in the Fv/Fm ratio and/or qp with storage time may be in response to senescence-related factors that also enhance scald susceptibility, however, Fv/Fm does not appear to be directly related to superficial scald susceptibility per se.
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