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Satoru Kondo, Kazuhiro Settsu, and Anan Jitratham

The effective applications of synthetic auxin 2,4-DP on fruit ripening of `La France' pears (Pyrus communis L.) were examined. A solution of 90 μL·L-1 2, 4-DP was applied to fruit and leaves around the fruit as follows: Early 1 = 140 days after full bloom (DAFB); Early 2 = 140 and 150 DAFB; Late 1 = 150 DAFB; and Late 2 = 150 and 160 DAFB. The effects were compared with nontreated fruit. Internal ethylene concentrations increased earliest and rapidly in Early 2 followed by Early 1. Fruit firmness decreased earliest in Early 2 and Early 1. Water-soluble polyuronide (WSP) concentrations in Early 2 were higher than other treatments, but hexametaphosphate-soluble polyuronide (HMP) and cellulose concentrations were lower. At 200 DAFB, 40% of fruit in Early 2 reached edible condition on the tree. In addition, the fruit in Early 2 required shorter periods of time to reach edible condition in a controlled room at 20 °C after harvest of 170, 180, 190, and 200 DAFB. These results show that two 2,4-DP applications at 140 and 150 DAFB may be effective in inducing the ripening capacity of `La France' pears on the tree. Chemical name used: 2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)-propionic acid (2,4-DP).

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James R. Schupp and Duane W. Greene

To compare the effects of growth regulators on preharvest fruit drop and fruit maturity, aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) was applied to `McIntosh' apple trees at 75, 150, or 225 mg·L-1, at 8, 4, or 2 weeks before harvest (WBH). These treatments were compared to NAA, daminozide, and to an untreated control. All AVG treatments and timings except 75 mg·L-1 applied 8 WBH delayed preharvest drop and fruit maturity. AVG applied at 225 mg·L-1was more effective in delaying drop and development of maturity than other rates when applied 8 or 2 WBH, but at 4 WBH, 150 mg·L-1 gave equivalent results to 225 mg·L-1. AVG at 150 mg·L-1 was superior to NAA or daminozide as a stop-drop agent. No concentration, or time of application of AVG influenced fruit size at harvest. AVG reduced internal ethylene concentration (IEC) in `McIntosh' apples linearly with increasing AVG concentration. There was a linear relationship between time of AVG application (8, 4, or 2 WBH) and IEC in the fruit after harvest, and the time required for harvested fruit to enter the ethylene climacteric. Development of red color was delayed by AVG. This was attributed to a delay in ripening as determined by a slower increase in IEC and starch hydrolysis. In general, earlier application of AVG resulted in reduced effectiveness of lowering IEC following harvest. Chemical names used: aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG), naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA), succinic acid-2,2-dimethylhydrazide (daminozide).

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Christopher B. Watkins, Mustafa Erkan, Jacqueline F. Nock, Kevin A. Iungerman, Randolph M. Beaudry, and Renae E. Moran

`Honeycrisp' is a new apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] cultivar that has been planted extensively in North America, but the storage disorders soggy breakdown and soft scald have resulted in major fruit losses. The effects of harvest date and storage temperature on fruit quality and susceptibility of fruit to these disorders have been investigated in Michigan, New York, and Maine. Internal ethylene concentrations were variable over a wide range of harvest dates, and a rapid increase in autocatalytic ethylene production was not always apparent. The starch pattern index, soluble solids content, titratable acidity and firmness also appear to have limited use as harvest indices. Development of soggy breakdown and soft scald is associated with later harvest dates and storage of fruit at temperatures of 0 to 0.5 °C compared with higher storage temperatures. It is recommended that `Honeycrisp' be stored at 3 °C, although storage disorders still can occur at this temperature if fruit are harvested late. In addition, greasiness development may be worse at higher storage temperatures.

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V.E. Emongor, D.P. Murr, J.T.A Proctor, and E.C. Lougheed

Field trials at Cambridge Research Station, Ontario, Canada, studied the thinning effect of benzyladenine (BA) on eighteen-year-old “Empire” apple trees. At 16 days after full bloom (fruit diameter 12.87 mm) whole trees were hand sprayed to drip point with BA (0, 100, or 200 mg.1-1). Untreated control trees were compared with treated and hand thinned trees. BA significantly reduced crop load on “Empire”. The thinning response to BA was linear, with recommended thinning occurring at 200 mg.1-1. At harvest, fruit weight, size (diameter and length), flesh firmness and soluble solids concentration, chlorophyll and anthocyanin contents, and seed number were increased by BA treatments. BA had no effect on fruit L:D ratio, internal ethylene concentration, maturity, and the onset of the respiratory climacteric, but significantly reduced respiration at harvest. BA also reduced ethylene production and ACC content at harvest, though the reduction was not significant. Although firmness of BA-treated fruit was significantly higher at harvest, upon storage for 1 month at 0-0.5°C and 90-95% RH the firmness advantage was lost BA shows potential as a thinner of “Empire” apple and has advantage of increasing fruit weight and size, since “Empire” is a relatively small apple compared to other commercial cultivars.

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D. Gerasopoulos and D.G. Richardson

Pear trees (Pyrus communis L.), cv. d'Anjou, received foliar applications of X-77 surfactant and 32.3 mm CaCl2 at 55, 85, 125, and 137 days after full bloom (DAFB) and fruit were harvested at 147 DAFB. Samples of fruit were stored in air either at 20 °C continuously or at 5 or 10 °C for several periods, then transferred to 20 °C, to determine the effects of storage temperature and CaCl2 treatments on the development of the ethylene climacteric and flesh firmness loss. Control fruits held continuously at 20 °C required 70 days for the onset of climacteric ethylene production, which commenced when firmness had decreased to ≈20 N. Calcium-sprayed fruit required 80 days at 20 °C before the rise in ethylene and resisted softening for ≈50 days. Regardless of calcium treatment, pears stored at 5 or 10 °C required only 40 days to produce climacteric ethylene; fruit softening and internal ethylene concentration after storage at 10 °C were intermediate between those of fruits stored at 5 and 20 °C. Calcium application did not alter the sequence of ripening events.

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Zhiguo Ju and Eric A. Curry

Effects of Lovastatin treatment on ethylene production, α-farnesene biosynthesis, and scald development were studied using `Delicious' and `Granny Smith' apples and `d'Anjou' pears stored in air at 0 °C. During 6 months of storage, Lovastatin did not affect internal ethylene concentration, but reduced α-farnesene production in a concentration-dependent manner in both apples and pears. Lovastatin reduced scald at 0.63 mmol·L-1 and inhibited scald completely at 1.25 or 2.50 mmol·L-1 in `Delicious' and `Granny Smith' apples. In `d'Anjou' pears, Lovastatin at concentrations from 0.25 to 1.25 mmol·L-1 inhibited scald completely. After 8 months of storage, the inhibition of scald in both apples and pears by Lovastatin was concentration-dependent, but none of the concentrations eliminated scald. Compared with 11.8 mmol·L-1 diphenylamine (DPA), Lovastatin treatment reduced scald to the same level at 1.25 mmol·L-1 in `d'Anjou' pear and 2.50 mmol·L-1 in `Delicious' and `Granny Smith' apples. Compared to the controls, Lovastatin did not affect fruit color, firmness, soluble solid contents, or titratable acidity during storage in either apple or pear.

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Jacqueline K. Burns, Ulrich Hartmond, and Walter J. Kender

The abscission action of two sulfonylureas and one imidazolinone was evaluated in laboratory studies with harvested orange (Citrus sinensis L. cv. Valencia) fruit and greenhouse studies with orange (cv. Hamlin) and grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf. cv. Marsh) trees. Dipping harvested fruit in 90 mg·L–1 imazameth, 2 mg·L–1 metsulfuronmethyl, or 30 mg·L–1 prosulfuron solutions increased levels of internal ethylene. Internal ethylene concentration was higher when fruit were dipped in 2 mg·L–1 metsulfuron-methyl solutions at low pH. Fruit retained on trees and dipped in 2 mg·L–1 metsulfuron-methyl solutions produced more ethylene than control fruit. Drop of treated fruit began when ethylene production was at a maximum. High temperatures (average 33 °C) suppressed ethylene production and fruit drop of metsulfuron-methyl–treated fruit. The results indicate the importance of environmental conditions in evaluating the potential of sulfonylureas and imidazolinones as abscission agents for citrus. Chemical names used: ±-2-[4,5-dihydro-4-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2-yl]-5-methyl-3-pyridinecarboxylic acid (imazameth); methyl 2-[[[[(4-methoxy-6-methyl-1,3,5-triazin-2yl) amino] carbonyl] amino] sulfonyl] benzoate (metsulfuron-methyl); 1-(4-methoxy-6-methyl-triazin-2-yl)-3-[2-(3,3,3-trifluoropropyl) phenylsulfonyl] urea (prosulfuron); N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine (glyphosate); 2-[4,5-dihydro-4-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1 H-imidazol-2-yl]-3-quinolinecarboxylic acid (imazaquin).

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James M. Wargo and Chris B. Watkins

`Honeycrisp' apples (Malus × domestica) were harvested over 3-week periods in 2001 and 2002. Maturity and quality indices were determined at harvest. Fruit quality was evaluated after air storage [0.0 to 2.2 °C (32 to 36 °F), 95% relative humidity] for 10-13 weeks and 15-18 weeks for the 2001 and 2002 harvests, respectively. Internal ethylene concentrations (IEC), starch indices (1-8 scale), firmness and soluble solids content (SSC) did not show consistent patterns of change over time. Starch hydrolysis was advanced on all harvest dates, but it is suggested that a starch index of 7 is a useful guide for timing harvest of fruit in western New York. After storage, firmness closely followed that observed immediately after harvest, and softening during storage was slow. No change in SSC was observed during storage in either year. Incidence of bitter pit and soft scald was generally low and was not affected consistently by harvest date. The incidence of stem punctures averaged 18.5% over both years, but was not affected by harvest date. Development of stem end cracking in both years, and rot development in one year, increased with later harvest dates. A panel of storage operators, packers, growers, and fruit extension specialists evaluated the samples for appearance and eating quality after storage, and results suggested that a 2-week harvest window is optimal for `Honeycrisp' apples that are spot picked to select the most mature fruit at each harvest.

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Renae E. Moran

The goal of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) for increasing effectiveness of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) for maintaining firmness and preventing scald in `McIntosh' and `Cortland' apples (Malus ×domestica). AVG and 1-MCP used together maintained `McIntosh' apple firmness more than 1-MCP used alone after 120 or 200 days of controlled-atmosphere (CA) storage. AVG and 1-MCP can be used to maintain firmness of `McIntosh' when internal ethylene concentration (IEC) at harvest is as high as 240 μL·L-1, but CA storage life is limited to 4 months. AVG was not effective at increasing efficacy of 1-MCP on `Cortland' when IEC at harvest was not significantly different between AVG-treated and untreated fruit and IEC was less than 2 μL·L-1. AVG increased efficacy of 1-MCP on `Cortland' when IEC was 36 μL·L-1 in untreated fruit compared to undetectable in AVG treated fruit. 1-MCP prevented scald of `Cortland' in 1 year and reduced it to 5% or less in another year when fruit were stored 120 days. 1-MCP reduced `Cortland' scald to 34% or less after 200 days of storage.

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C. Larrigaudiere, E. Pinto, and M. Vendrell

The differential effects of two color improving products, ethephon an ethylene-releasing compound, and seniphos, a nonethylene-releasing product, were studied on `Starking Delicious' apples (Malus domestica Borkh L.). Ethephon and seniphos were applied 2 or 3 weeks before commercial harvest. Ethephon- and seniphos-treated fruit showed a significant improvement of peel color associated with a sharp increase in anthocyanin content and chromaticity values. Color improvement in ethephon-treated apples occurred during the preharvest period and cold storage. The seniphos-treated fruit stopped color development in cold conditions. In comparison to the ethephon-treated fruit, the seniphos-treated apples showed lower internal ethylene concentrations and a ripening delay. Both treatments sharply increased the activity of phenylalanine-ammonia-lyase enzyme, which seemed to be the determining factor of color enhancement. The seniphos-treated apples compared to ethephon had higher fruit firmness and lower soluble solids concentrations. Anthocyanin biosynthesis may be enhanced by seniphos treatment without inducing ethylene production or other ripening associated changes. As a consequence, fruit treated with seniphos can be held longer in storage.