Application of calcium (Ca) sprays is a recommended practice to reduce the incidence of Ca-related disorders such as bitter pit in apple (Malus ×domestica), but effectiveness of sprays to increase Ca concentrations in the fruit is not always consistent. Strontium (Sr) has been used as a Ca analog to evaluate Ca transport processes and distribution in plants. A field study was conducted using foliar- and fruit-applied Sr as a tracer for Ca transport in 20-year-old `Honeycrisp' apple trees on Malling.26 (M.26) rootstock. The objectives of this study were to 1) measure the amount of Sr translocation from leaves to fruit, 2) determine the effectiveness of eight sprays applied over the growing season vs. four late-season sprays on increasing Sr concentrations in leaves and fruit, and 3) evaluate the effect of an experimental adjuvant consisting of alkyl-polysaccharides and monosaccharides on spray efficacy. Seven treatments were tested, which included a control and six Sr treatments applied in various combinations with or without an adjuvant. Trees were sprayed four or eight times during the growing season, either directly to leaves and fruit or to leaves only (fruit covered during application). Spray treatments did not significantly affect total fruit fresh or dry weight. Although some discrimination between Ca and Sr was detected, the similar distribution of Ca and Sr in fruit tissue of control treatments suggested that Sr is a suitable tracer for Ca. Based on the covered vs. uncovered fruit treatments, about 11% to 17% of the Sr in the fruit came from Sr applied directly to the leaves. Eight spray applications over the growing season more than doubled both the concentration and content of fruit Sr compared with four late season sprays. The tested adjuvant doubled Sr absorption by and translocation to fruit compared with not using an adjuvant. Assuming similar transport for Ca and Sr, and adjusting for the atomic weight of Ca relative to Sr, the maximum increase in fruit Ca concentration at harvest from foliar and fruit applications (eight sprays with adjuvant and uncovered fruit) would have been as follows: core = 78 mg·kg–1; flesh = 35 mg·kg–1; peel = 195 mg·kg–1; entire fruit = 67 mg·kg–1. In addition to being an underused tool for studying Ca transport patterns, the results also suggest that use of Sr may be a novel technique for testing the efficacy of various adjuvants used to enhance uptake and transport of Ca in leaves and fruit.
Carl J. Rosen, Peter M. Bierman, Adriana Telias, and Emily E. Hoover
William D. Wolk, O.L. Lau, G.H. Neilsen, and Brian G. Drought
A study was undertaken to identify key factors associated with storage disorders in three commercially important apple cultivars in British Columbia and to determine how early in the season associations could be measured. Fruit mass, density, and concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, and dry matter were determined for `McIntosh', `Spartan', and `Golden Delicious' apples (Malus ×domestica Borkh) from ≈30 commercial orchards 9, 6, 3, and 0 weeks before harvest. Storage samples were collected at commercial harvest and evaluated for the development of internal breakdown (`McIntosh' and `Spartan') or bitter pit (`Golden Delicious') after 4 and 6 months of 0 °C air storage. Mass and [Ca] and the mass/[Ca] and [K]/[Ca] ratios were the factors most often significantly correlated with storage disorders within each year for all three cultivars. Correlations were as frequently significant 6 and 3 weeks before harvest as they were at harvest. Mass of `McIntosh' and `Spartan' was the only variable consistently related with breakdown in all 3 years of the study. There were no variables with a consistent relationship to bitter pit in `Golden Delicious'. Fruit [Ca] was associated with the relative levels of disorders within years but could not be associated with specific levels of disorders across all years.
Frank J. Peryea, Denise Neilsen, and Gerry Neilsen
The recommendations for boron (B) sprays in deciduous tree fruit orchards have changed little over the past 50 years. We conducted two 3-year field studies evaluating the effect of two modifications to the existing recommendation for B maintenance sprays on apple (Malus ×domestica) tree nutritional status. A widely recommended Na polyborate-based commercial B spray product was used as the B source. Postbloom sprays of B applied at the recommended annual B maintenance rate of 0.56 kg·ha-1 to `Scarlet Gala' apple trees consistently increased fruit B concentration but had a weaker effect on leaf B concentration in early August, the recommended timing for sampling leaves for mineral element analysis. Applying half or all of the annual B maintenance rate in a spray at the pink flowering stage increased flower cluster and early-season leaf B concentrations as well as having positive effects on fruit and leaf B concentrations. The pink sprays increased flower cluster Na concentration but had no effect on leaf and fruit Na concentrations. In the second study, one-quarter of the annual B fertilizer requirement was tank-mixed with each of four biweekly CaCl2 sprays applied starting in early June for bitter pit control. This treatment consistently increased `Scarlet Gala' fruit B concentration but had a lesser effect on August leaf B concentration. It did not interfere with fruit Ca status, and increased both fruit and leaf Na concentrations. Leaf Na concentration in all treatments was substantially lower than levels associated with specific Na toxicity of deciduous fruit trees. The results of these experiments indicate that applying B sprays at the pink flowering stage timing and tank-mixing B with CaCl2 sprays applied for bitter pit control are useful practices to enhance B spray efficacy and convenience of application.
Corina Serban, Lee Kalcsits, Jennifer DeEll, and James P. Mattheis
and Tong, 2011 ). Increased ‘Honeycrisp’ production ( U.S. Apple Association, 2018 ) has resulted in a need for strategies to improve the storage performance to maintain quality and reduce fruit losses. One challenge is controlling bitter pit, a
Renae Moran, Jennifer DeEll, and Cindy B.S. Tong
of maturity can lead to bitter pit, whereas harvest at later stages can lead to chilling injury (CI) during storage in ‘Honeycrisp’ ( Watkins et al., 2005 ). Harvest of ‘McIntosh’ at an early stage can lead to core browning and at advanced maturity to
Lee Kalcsits, Gregory van der Heijden, Michelle Reid, and Katie Mullin
inhibits necessary cell signaling ( Gilliham et al., 2011 ; Ho and White, 2005 ). Bitter pit is among these Ca-related disorders and renders 5% to 10% of harvested apples unmarketable each year. In ‘Honeycrisp’ apple, it is not uncommon to lose up to 50
Denise Neilsen, Gerry Neilsen, Sunghee Guak, and Tom Forge
end point with data expressed as g/100 mL malic acid equivalents. An additional random subsample of 10 fruit at harvest was used to calculate incidence of disorders including water core, sunburn, internal breakdown, and bitter pit. Analysis of variance
J. Thomas Raese and S. R. Drake
Sprays of calcium materials were applied at high volume rates (620 g Ca/400 liters) with a handgun during early June, late June, and mid-July versus mid-July, early August, and late August for five years, 1985 to 1989. Leaf injury was most severe for the late sprays but no spray injury was observed on the fruit surfaces. Bitter pit was markedly reduced with all sprays except CaSO4. In some years, bitter pit was controlled better with the early sprays. Either early or late sprays improved fruit quality including overall appearance, reduced scald development, improved red color of the skin, increased fruit firmness and reduced incidence of bitter pit in cold air (0°C) storage. Soluble solids and acidity in the fruit was not affected by calcium sprays. Leaf Ca was higher from the late spray applications than from the earlier applications. All calcium chloride spray materials resulted in increased fruit peel and cortex Ca. Calcium nitrate sprays tended to increase fruit nitrogen concentrations leading to undesirable higher N:Ca ratios in the fruit.
T. Auxt Baugher, H.W. Hogmire, A.R. Biggs, S.I. Walter, D.W. Leach, T. Winfield, and G.W. Lightner
Apple packout audits were conducted during 1991 to 1993 to assess effects of five orchard systems (three cultivars, two age groups) on fruit packout and determine if relationships exist between light quality and productivity. Cultivar/rootstock combinations on 1979 T-trellis and central-leader systems had the lowest light levels and relative yields. Trees on either 1979 3-wire trellis, 1986 MIA, or 1985 West Virginia spindle had the highest light transmission, and trees on 1979 or 1985 West Virginia spindle systems had the highest yields. Extra fancy/fancy packouts across systems ranged from 40% to 85%. `Empire', regardless of system, had the highest packouts, and `Golden Delicious' on 1979 or 1986 central leader had the lowest packouts. A regression analysis comparing percentage packout in grades below fancy to percentage full sun indicated that reduced packouts were related to low light conditions. Orchard system influenced the number of fruit downgraded due to color, russet, bruises, bitter pit, cork spot, apple scab, rots, sooty blotch/fly speck, and tufted apple budmoth. Regression analyses comparing defects to field data indicated that bitter pit decreased as yield efficiency increased, and rot and sooty blotch/fly speck incidence were related to low canopy light penetration. Revenue losses were disproportionate to percentage of downgraded fruit because some defects had a greater impact on grade than others. The greatest revenue losses were for russet in `Golden Delicious' on 1986 central leader ($1656.60/acre) and for bitter pit in `Golden Delicious' on 1979 T-trellis ($1067.30/acre). Total losses in returns for individual systems ranged from $453.71/acre for `Empire' on 3-wire trellis to $3145.49/acre for `Golden Delicious' on 1986 central leader. The comparisons of young versus mature system yields and packouts indicate that medium- to high-density vertical or inclined canopy systems are superior to horizontal or low-density vertical freestanding systems. The cost-benefit analyses prescribe areas where management can be changed in existing systems to increase profitability.
`Newtown' apples (Malus domestics Borkh.) treated weekly with urea at 10 g·liter-l or Ca(NO3)2 at 7.5 g·liter-1 for 5 consecutive weeks from late August were greener at harvest and during storage than comparable control fruit. A postharvest dip in Nutri-Save, a polymeric coating, was better for retention of skin greenness than a dip in diphenylamine and both gave greener apples than control (nondipped) fruit. Fruit treated with Ca(NO3)2 displayed lesions that were larger and more numerous than typical bitter pit in the control fruit.