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Shiow Y. Wang, Miklos Faust, and Hong J. Jiao

The effects of thidiazuron on changes in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in apple (Malus domestica Borkh cv. York Imperial) buds during dormancy break were determined. Dormant buds had low SOD activity. Increased SOD activity was correlated with budbreak induced by thidiazuron. Buds contained three distinct forms of SOD: Cu, Zn-SOD; Mn-SOD; and Fe-SOD. Most of the SOD activity in apple buds was attributed to Cu and Zn-SOD, followed by Mn-SOD. Iron-SOD was not present in dormant buds, and only a trace amount was found as buds started rapid expansion. Chemical name used: N-phenyl-N′-1,2,3,-thidiazol-5-ylurea (thidiazuron).

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Julia M. Harshman, Wayne M. Jurick II, Kim S. Lewers, Shiow Y. Wang, and Christopher S. Walsh

Raspberries are a delicate, high-value crop with an extremely short shelf life exacerbated by postharvest decay caused by Botrytis cinerea Pers. European red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) is the most widely grown variety. Yellow (R. idaeus L.), black (R. occidentalis L.), and purple raspberries (R. ×neglectus Peck. or R. occidentalis ×idaeus hybrids) are available mainly at local markets and U-pick farms. To compare the postharvest quality of the raspberry color groups, pesticide-free fruit from cultivars and breeding selections of red, yellow, purple, and black raspberries were examined for oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), phenolics, anthocyanins, soluble solids, titratable acids, pH, color, firmness, decay and juice leakage rates, ethylene evolution, and respiration. There were significant correlations between decay rate and physiochemical properties. Both decay and leakage rates were correlated with weather conditions before harvest, but each color group responded differently to different weather factors. There were no correlations among changes in color, firmness, decay, or juice leakage rates. All the other color groups were less acidic than the familiar red raspberry. Yellow raspberries had the worst decay rates but the best leakage rates. Black and purple raspberries, with the highest phenolics and anthocyanins and the lowest ethylene evolution rates, resisted decay the longest but bled soonest.

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Shiow Y. Wang, Gene J. Galletta, Mary J. Camp, and Michael J. Kasperbauer

The influence of mulch types (black polyethylene, red polyethylene, and straw-vetch in raised bed hill culture) on the chemical composition of `Northeaster' and `Primetime' strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) fruit and plant parts was evaluated. Ascorbic acid (AA), malic acid, citric acid, and ellagic acid levels were higher in `Primetime' than in `Northeaster' fruits, while `Northeaster' had a higher soluble solids content (SSC). Fruit grown on straw-vetch had lower SSC than did those grown on the polyethylene mulches. The AA content in the fruit of either cultivar was not affected by the mulch treatment. Fruit grown on the straw-vetch mulch had less red surface and flesh color but higher pigment intensity than fruit grown on the polyethylene mulches. Strawberry plants grown on straw-vetch mulch had the largest leaf area and the highest chlorophyll content, while plants grown on red polyethylene mulch had the smallest leaf area and lowest chlorophyll content. There were significant mulch × cultivar interactions in fruit titratable acid (TA) and AA levels, sugars, citric and ellagic acid contents, leaf area and chlorophyll levels, and soluble carbohydrate and starch contents in leaves, petioles, crowns, crown-roots, and roots. TA was highest in `Northeaster' fruit when grown on red polyethylene, whereas TA was highest in `Primetime' fruit when grown on straw-vetch. The highest fruit citric acid levels were found in straw-vetch mulched plots of `Northeaster', and in black polyethylene mulched plots of `Primetime'. Ellagic acid accumulation was highest in `Northeaster' fruit grown on black polyethylene, and in `Primetime' fruit grown on red polyethylene or straw-vetch mulches. Fruit glucose content was highest in `Northeaster', but lowest in `Primetime', when grown on the straw-vetch mulch. There was a general tendency for soluble carbohydrate and starch levels in plant tissues to be lowest when the plants were grown in red polyethylene mulch and highest when grown in black polyethylene mulch. `Primetime' contained higher total carbohydrate levels than did `Northeaster' in all tissues tested.