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Dan D. MacLean and D. Scott NeSmith

A postharvest 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) treatment was evaluated for its ability to maintain firmness and delay the ripening of rabbiteye blueberries. Three cultivars, Austin, Brightwell, and Premier, were harvested by hand from the UGA Alapaha Blueberry Farm and treated overnight with 1 μL·L−1 1-MCP as field heat was being removed [0 to 1 °C, 90% to 95% relative humidity (RH)]. Fruit were evaluated for firmness, total soluble solids (TSS), total acidity (TA), ethylene production, and other quality attributes at 0, 1, and 2 weeks after harvest as well as 1 or 4 days post-removal evaluations at room temperature (≈21 °C). In general, the 1-MCP treatment resulted in the stimulation of ethylene production in all three cultivars but had minimal effect on TSS and TA content. Furthermore, the treatment resulted in an accelerated loss of firmness in ‘Brightwell’. The lack of inhibition of fruit ripening likely related to the fact that blueberries were harvested, and subsequently treated with 1-MCP, at a post-climacteric stage of development. Based on current results, more information is required regarding ethylene production during rabbiteye blueberry fruit maturation before establishing a 1-MCP treatment recommendation for use by the rabbiteye blueberry industry.

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Amots Hetzroni, Denys J. Charles, Jules Janick, and James E. Simon

A prototype of a nondestructive electronic sensory system (electronic sniffer) that responds to volatile gases emitted by fruit during ripening was developed. The electronic sniffer is based upon four semiconductor gas sensors designed to react with a range of reductive gases, including aromatic volatiles. In 1994, we examined the potential of using the electronic sniffer as a tool to nondestructively determine ripeness in `Golden Delicious' and `Goldrush' apples. Fruit were harvested weekly from 19 Sept. to 17 Oct. (`Golden Delicious') and 27 Sept. to 18 Nov. (`Goldrush'). Each week, apples of each cultivar were evaluated individually for skin color, weight size, and headspace volatiles. Each fruit was then evaluated by the electronic sniffer, and headspace ethylene was sampled from air within the testing box. Individual fruits were then evaluated for total soluble solids, firmness, pH, total acidity, and starch index value. The electronic sniffer was able to distinguish and accurately classify the apples into three ripeness stages (immature, ripe, and over-ripe). Improved results were obtained when multiple gas sensors were used rather than a single gas sensor.

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A.M. Akl, A.M. Wassel, F.F. Ahmed, and M.A. Abdel Hady

This investigation was conducted during the 1991, 1992, and 1993 seasons to study the effect of different concentrations and number of sprays urea and/or boric acid on yield and berries quality of Red Roomy grapevines. Two, three, four, or five sprays for both urea at 0.5% 1%, or 1.5% and /or boric acid at 0.1%, 0.2%, or 0.3% in addition to the control treatment were applied. Combined sprays of urea and boric acid was preferable in increasing the number of clusters, yield per vine, berry set parentage, fertility coefficient. weight, length and shoulder of cluster, weight and dimensions of berry, total soluble solids, total sugars, and total anthocyanins in grapes and in reducing the percentages of cracked and shot berries and the total acidity compared with the single application of both. Spraying urea at 1.0% in combined with boric acid at 0.2% four times (i.e., at growth start, first bloom, immediately after berry set, and at 30 days later) is recommended for achieving high yield and fairly good berries quality in `Red Roomy' grape vines.

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N.G. Krohn and D.C. Ferree

Greenhouse and field-grown `Seyval blanc' grapevines (Vitis sp.) were grown with low-growing, shallow-rooted, mat-forming, ornamental perennial groundcovers, and the effect of the groundcovers on the vegetative and fruiting growth of the grapevines was evaluated. The groundcovers used in this experiment were `Kentucky-31' tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea); white mazus (Mazus japoonicus albus); english pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium); dwarf creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum minus); strawberry clover (Trifolium fragiferum); `Heavenly Blue' veronica (Veronica prostrata `Heavenly Blue'); and a companion grass mixture of 75% perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and 25% red fescue (Festuca rubra). A control treatment grown without any groundcover was also used in both the greenhouse and field experiments. All of the groundcovers reduced `Seyval blanc' total shoot length from 22% to 85% in the vineyard. Cluster size was reduced in the field from 7% to 68% by the groundcovers compared to the herbicide control treatment, and from 9% to 66% in the greenhouse experiment, but none of the groundcovers in either the greenhouse or field experiments affected the pH, total acidity, or soluble solids concentrations of the `Seyval blanc' juice. English pennyroyal was the only groundcover that reduced in the leaf area of the grapevine. Single-leaf photosynthesis of the `Seyval blanc' grapevines in the field experiment was reduced by all groundcovers except mazus and creeping thyme. Water infiltration rates were 10 to 50 times higher in the groundcovers compared to the bare soil of the herbicide control treatment. Weed growth in the field caused reduction in shoot length similar to the most competitive groundcovers. Weed growth was reduced in the early season by the english pennyroyal and companion grass, and in the late season by all groundcovers. The reduction in growth of the grapevines caused by groundcovers in the greenhouse was a reasonable screen for the affect of groundcovers in the field. The mazus treatment was the only groundcover in our experiments that coupled fast growth with low competitive ability.

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A. Naor, Y. Gal, and B. Bravdo

Effects of two shoot densities (14 and 44 shoots/vine) and two crop levels (one and two fruit clusters per shoot) on yield, pruning weight, crop load, and juice and wine quality of field-grown `Sauvignon blanc' grape (Vitis vinifera L.) were studied in a factorial experiment over 3 years. Main shoot length, lateral shoot length and number, shoot diameter, leaf area per shoot, and specific leaf weight were greater at the lower compared with the higher shoot density for all years whereas pruning weight was significantly increased only in the third year. Crop yield increased proportionally with the number of clusters, up to 44 clusters per vine, by both shoot and cluster thinning; a lower rate of yield increase was apparent when the number of clusters per vine was increased further, probably because of increasing source limitation. Berry maturation was delayed in the 44 shoots per vine treatment. Unchanged soluble solids, higher total acidity, and lower pH in the 44-shoot vine treatment in the third year indicated that the effect of cluster number on the must quality was not due to delayed maturation. No effect of cluster number per shoot on vegetative parameters was apparent. Berry size and number were affected by cluster thinning only in the 44 shoot/vine treatment. Both the number of shoots per vine and the number of clusters per shoot affected wine sensory attributes. Herbaceous aroma scores increased with increasing pruning weight. The wine sensory evaluation score decreased with increasing crop load. Total wine sensory scores decreased with decreasing leaf area to fruit weight ratio below ≈18 cm2·g-1, whereas a critical value of the crop to pruning weight ratio, for wine quality, was not apparent. Crop load expressed as crop to pruning weight ratio (kg·kg-1) was highly correlated with fruit weight to leaf area ratio (g·cm-2) (r 2 = 0.86), providing a biological rationale for the relevance of crop load and wine quality relations.

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Khalid F. Almutairi, David R. Bryla, and Bernadine C. Strik

Drought and mandatory water restrictions are limiting the availability of irrigation water in many important blueberry growing regions, such as Oregon, Washington, and California. New strategies are needed to maintain yield and fruit quality with less water. To address the issue, three potential options for reducing water use, including deficit irrigation, irrigation cutoffs, and crop thinning, were evaluated for 2 years in a mature planting of northern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L. ‘Elliott’). Treatments consisted of no thinning and 50% crop removal in combination with either full irrigation at 100% of estimated crop evapotranspiration (ETc), deficit irrigation at 50% ETc (applied for the entire growing season), or full irrigation with irrigation cutoff for 4–6 weeks during early (early- to late-green fruit) or late (fruit coloring to harvest) stages of fruit development. Stem water potential was similar with full and deficit irrigation but, regardless of crop thinning, declined by 0.5–0.6 MPa when irrigation was cutoff early and by >2.0 MPa when irrigation was cutoff late. In one or both years, the fruiting season was advanced with either deficit irrigation or late cutoff, whereas cutting off irrigation early delayed the season. Yield was unaffected by deficit irrigation in plants with a full crop load but was reduced by an average of 35% when irrigation was cutoff late each year. Cutting off irrigation early likewise reduced yield, but only in the 2nd year when the plants were not thinned; however, early cutoff also reduced fruit soluble solids and berry weight by 7% to 24% compared with full irrigation. Cutting off irrigation late produced the smallest and firmest fruit with the highest soluble solids and total acidity among the treatments, as well as the slowest rate of fruit loss in cold storage. Deficit irrigation had the least effect on fruit quality and, based on these results, appears to be the most viable option for maintaining yield with less water in northern highbush blueberry. Relative to full irrigation, the practice reduced water use by 2.5 ML·ha−1 per season.

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Susana Boso Alonso, Virginia Alonso-Villaverde Pilar Gago, José L. Santiago, Mariá C. Martínez, and Emilio Rodriguez

yield per berry. The total acidity of the must was estimated using the coloration pattern volumetric method ( Diario Oficial de Las Comunidades Europeas, 1990 ). Must pH. This was recorded with a pH meter Crison GLP 21 (Crison 08328, Alella

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Agnieszka Masny, Edward Żurawicz, and Jarosław Markowski

selected from the marketable fruits collected during the third, fourth, and fifth harvest. The internal fruit quality (soluble solids, total acidity, dry matter, ascorbic acid, and anthocyanin content) was assessed based on samples of fruit randomly

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M. Joseph Stephens, Julia R. Enfield, and Harvey K. Hall

(1999) and Zhang et al. (2006) , respectively. Soluble solids content was recorded using a digital pocket refractometer (PAL-1; Atago, Tokyo, Japan) and for total acidity measurements, 2 mL of berry juice in 40 mL of water was titrated with 0.1 M NaOH

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Matthew Clark, Peter Hemstad, and James Luby

cold-hardy, white wine cultivars Frontenac gris and La Crescent. ‘Itasca’ has more sugar at harvest than ‘Brianna’, another cold-hardy variety with low total acidity levels. Origin The grapevine ‘Itasca’ ( Fig. 1 ) was identified at the Horticultural