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Anne M. Socci, Marvin P. Pritts, and Mary Jo Kelly

A mixed cultivar blueberry planting was treated with a concentrated sucrose solution before fruit ripening and after episodes of rain during the harvest season. Fruit losses due to birds were monitored throughout the season in this planting and in the same cultivar in a separate nontreated planting ≈200 m (650 ft.) away. Fruit loss to birds was ≈50% greater in the nontreated planting over the first 3 weeks of harvest. In addition, bird activity was monitored between 0600 and 0700 hr on two occasions in each planting during the early harvest season. Bird activity was many times higher in the nontreated planting. These observations suggest that sucrose should be tested more widely for potential activity on bird feeding behavior.

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Christiane Cabral Velho, Yehoshua Saranga, and Jules Janick

Density changes associated with developing zygotic embryos of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) and somatic embryos of celery (Apium graveolens L.) were determined using sucrose gradients. Continuous sucrose gradients were used to evaluate relative density of loblolly pine embryos from July 25, when embryos could be microscopically observed, to November 7, 1988. Embryos density declined during development with a maximum (51% sucrose equivalent or 1.2331 g/ml) at first sampling and then remain relatively constant (10% sucrose equivalent or 1.0306 g/ml) after day 49. Density changes were inversely related to embryo length.

Celery somatic embryos, cultured for 6, 8, 10, or 12 days were separated with sucrose solutions varying from 9 to 16% in 1% intervals. Embryos were classified as overmature (expanded cotyledons), mature (torpedo), and immature (globular). The number of low density embryos increased from 6 to 12 days. The highest conversion to normal seedlings after desiccation for 48 hr at 90% relative humidity was obtained with overmature and mature embryos, but some immature somatic embryos also survived. Maximum conversion was obtained from embryos with density equivalent of 12% to 14% sucrose (1.0448 g/ml to 1.0531 g/ml) at days 10 and 12.

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Jingwei Dai and Robert E. Paull

The inflorescence of Protea neriifolia B. Br. was two-thirds of the total cut floral stem fresh weight and significantly influenced blackening of the attached 20 to 30 leaves. Floral stems harvested at five developmental stages were characterized for inflorescence diameter, fresh and dry weights, respiration, and nectar production. Inflorescence diameter and fresh and dry weights increased from stage 1 (very tight bud) to stage 5 (bracts reflexed). Respiration rate was high in stages 1 and 3. Nectar production began at stage 4 (open, cylindrical flower) and increased from 2.7 to 9.8 ml per flower with 15% to 23.5% total soluble solids as the flower opened. Postharvest inflorescence diameter, respiration rate, and nectar production increased and leaf blackening decreased when floral stems were placed in 5% (w/v) sucrose solution. Application of 14C-sucrose to a leaf subtending the inflorescence lead to >50% of the radioactivity being found in the nectar within 24 hours. These data indicate that leaf blackening in protea is the result of depletion of carbohydrate by the inflorescence, and that this depletion is primarily due to the sugar demand for nectar production.

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Hiroshi Iwanami, Shigeki Moriya, Nobuhiro Kotoda, Sae Takahashi, and Kazuyuki Abe

Changes in flesh firmness and mealiness during storage were investigated in 24 apple [Malus ×sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] cultivars and selections (genotypes) up to 40 days after harvest under 20 ± 2 °C and 85% ± 5% relative humidity storage conditions. Flesh firmness was measured using a penetrometer, while mealiness was quantified by measuring the degree of cell separation in tissue induced by shaking discs of tissue in a sucrose solution. According to the relationship between the change in firmness and mealiness, the genotypes can be divided into four groups: those that did not soften and remained hard and nonmealy during storage; those that softened without mealiness; those that softened with slight mealiness; and those that softened with mealiness. Firmness decreased below 30 N in fruit that softened with mealiness, and the minimum firmness during storage was correlated with the degree of mealiness at 30 days of storage. The rate of softening was the highest in fruit that softened with mealiness. Therefore, it was concluded that, by measuring the firmness and changes in firmness that take place during storage, the genotypes resulting in softening with mealiness and those that result in softening without mealiness could be identified.

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Nele De Belie, Ian C. Hallett, F. Roger Harker, and Josse De Baerdemaeker

The tensile properties of european pear (Pyrus communis L. `Beurre Bosc') and asian pear (Pyrus pyrifolia Nakai `Choguro') were examined using a microscope-mounted apparatus that allowed direct observation and recording of cell and tissue changes during testing. To manipulate turgor potential, tissue slices from fruit of different firmness (ripeness) were incubated in sucrose solutions of differing water potential. Solution water potentials were adjusted for individual fruit, and varied between -2.5 and 1 MPa from the water potential of the expressed juice. Fruit firmness declined from 100 to 20 N and from 60 to 25 N during ripening of european and asian pears, respectively. For both european and asian pears the relationship between fruit firmness and tensile strength of tissue soaked in isotonic solutions was sigmoidal, with the major mechanism of tissue failure being cell wall failure and cell fracture at high firmness and intercellular debonding at low firmness. In the intermediate zone, where fruit firmness and tissue tensile strength decreased simultaneously, a mixture of cell wall rupture and intercellular debonding could be observed. Tissue and cell extension at maximum force both declined similarly as fruit softened. Tensile strength of tissue from firm pears (>50 N firmness, >0.8 N tensile strength) decreased by as much as 0.6 N during incubation in solutions that were more concentrated than the cell sap (hypertonic solutions). When similar tissue slices were incubated in solutions that were less concentrated than the cell sap (hypotonic solutions), the tensile strength increased by up to 0.4 N. This is interpreted as stress-hardening of the cell wall in response to an increase in cell turgor. Tensile strength of tissue from soft pears was not affected by osmotic changes, as the mechanism of tissue failure is cell-to-cell debonding rather than cell wall failure.

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John M. Dole, Frankie L. Fanelli, William C. Fonteno, Beth Harden, and Sylvia M. Blankenship

Optimum postharvest handling procedures were determined for Linaria maroccana `Lace Violet', Trachelium`Jemmy Royal Purple', and Zinnia elegans `Benary's Giant Scarlet' and `Sungold.' A 24-hour 10% or 20% sucrose pulse increased the vase life of Linaria by 2–4 days, resulting in a vase life of 9 days as compared to 5 days for control flowers held in deionized (DI) water. Use of floral foam and cold storage at 1 °C for 1 week decreased vase life. Treatment with either 0.1 or 1.0 ppm ethylene had no effect. The use of a commercial holding solution (Floralife Professional or Chrysal Professional 2 Processing Solution) or 2% or 3% sucrose increased vase life 4–10 days. For cut Trachelium, ethylene caused florets to close entirely or stop opening; 1-MCP and STS prevented these ethylene effects. Stems tolerated 4 days of 1 °C storage, but 1 week or more of storage reduced the 14-day vase life of unstored flowers to 9 days. Stems in 2% or 4% sucrose had a longer vase life compared to DI water. While the use of floral foam was not detrimental when used with sucrose solutions, it reduced vase life when sucrose was not used. Zinnia stems could not be cold stored for 1 week at 1 °C due to loss of turgidity and cold damage. Stems stored dry at 5 °C regained turgidity and averaged a vase life of 14 days; however, petals remained slightly twisted and curled after being in the vase for several days. Treatment with ethylene had no effect. Floral foam reduced vase life to 9–10 days.

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Apostolos A. Paralikas, J.C. Vlahos, M. Papadimitriou, and K.A. Loulakakis

Ebenus cretica, Leguminosae, an endemic perennial bush of Crete, is being studied as a potential new cut flower crop. Forty-centimeter-long spikes with two to three inflorescences and six to eight compound leaves were harvested from 5-year-old plants grown from seed at the farm of the TEI, when 1/3 of the florets had opened, and were treated with various preservatives. Flower quality was evaluated morphologically combined with measurements of chlorophyll content in leaves and anthocyanin in petals. Without any postharvest treatments, inflorescences held in a solution of 100 ppm 8-hydroxyquinone sulfate (HQS) in DI water had an average vaselife of 6.8 days. Pulsing with 0.6 mM silver thiosulfate (STS) for 2 h extended vaselife up to 8.4 days. However, when ethephon was added in the solution, vaselife was significantly reduced, causing leaf yellowing and flower senescence, which suggests sensitivity to exogenous ethylene. A solution of 0.2% Ca(NO3)2 prolonged vaselife by 2.7 days, whereas higher concentrations resulted in flower discoloration and decreased flower quality. Sucrose solutions of 0.5%, 1%, 2%, and 4% had no positive effect on flower longevity. Furthermore, the higher concentrations caused leaf yellowing and petal discoloration decreasing vaselife and quality of flowers compared to control. Samples of inflorescences were taken every second day for chlorophyll (a and b) and anthocyanin measurements. The concentrations recorded were highest in the 0.2% Ca(NO3)2 treatment and were significantly correlated to flower longevity. Results indicate that Ebenus cretica may be used as a cut flower crop; however, due to the genetic variability of the Ebenus plants, a breeding line should be developed before the crop reaches the floricultural market.

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Eckhard Grimm and Moritz Knoche

min of incubation in sucrose solutions and that of the flesh by water vapor pressure osmometry of expressed juice. Sections were prepared from 10 fruits per cultivar. Plasmolysis was also determined following incubation of skin sections in juice

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Mary Lewis, Matthew Chappell, Paul A. Thomas, Rebekah C. Maynard, and Ockert Greyvenstein

determined to germinate optimally when suspended in a 30% sucrose solution ( Wyatt and Shannon, 1986 ). Using 1 mL of a 30% sucrose solution, five different numbers of pollinia (p) (100p, 200p, 250p, 350p, and 450p) were combined and crushed using a mortar

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Andreas Winkler, Max Ossenbrink, and Moritz Knoche

using a biopsy punch and parallel razorblades. Discs were blotted, rinsed and incubated in sucrose solution (osmolarity 3.1 MPa) with and without 70 m m malic acid (osmolarity 3.0 MPa). These solutions were about isotonic to juice extracted from the