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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.

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Zhenyong Wang and David R. Dilley

We are investigating alternative strategies to control scald on apples. Ethanol vapors were applied to `Law Rome' and `Red Delicious' apples in the storage chambers by ventilating air through aqueous solutions of ethanol at different concentrations, and in modified atmosphere packages by adding various initial concentrations of ethanol vapor. Fruits in storage chambers treated with ethanol vapor at 1600 ppm for about 2 months showed no scald when stored for an additional period in air storage whereas the scald index in control was up to 2.33 (the highest is 3). The similar results in the modified atmosphere experiments confirmed that ethanol vapor could prevent apple scald. Ethanol vapor treatment was also correlated with a reduction of α-farnesene production by the fruits. α-farnesene is an isoprenoid metabolite in the pathway to carotenoid synthesis that has been implicated indirectly as a factor in scald development. Evidence for this based on diphenylamine (DPA) reducing the level of a conjugated terpene product of α-farnesene oxidation. Our results suggested that the control of scald by ethanol vapor treatment may be related to the reduction of α-farnesene production and its subsequent oxidation. Ethanol vapor treatment resulted in accumulation of ethanol in the fruits in direct proportion to the ethanol concentration administered and reduced the rate of ethylene production, and the internal ethanol levels dropped rapidly when fruits were returned to air without ethanol vapor.

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Rawia El-Bassuoni and Marita Cantwell

Bell pepper fruits (green and red) were stored intact or prepared in dices (1 × 1 cm), washed with chlorinated water, biot dried, and stored in air or controlled atmospheres (air or 3% O2 with 0, 5 or 10% CO2) at 0, 5 or 10C for up to 20 days. Dicing resulted in respiration rates 2-3 times higher than those of intact peppers, but did not result in measureable increases in ethylene production. Samples were periodically transferred to 15C for 12 h before evaluation for visual quality, decay, discoloration, aroma, flavor, texture, and sugar content. Quality changes were similar for green and red fruit of the same cultivar. Intact peppers are chilling sensitive, but the quality of diced peppers was maintained best at 0C. The shelf-life of diced pepper at 10 and 5C was 1/2 to 2/3 that of intact peppers. Atmospheres containing 5 or 10% CO2 reduced decay and increased the shelf-life of diced peppers, but were not as effective as storage in air at 0C. Storage at 0C also resulted in greater retention of sugars than storage under other conditions. High CO2 atmospheres resulted in softening of pepper tissue and increased electrolyte leakage. Aroma and flavor scores declined more rapidly in CA than in air storage.

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R.J. Bender and J.K. Brecht

Mangoes for long-distance markets are harvested at the mature-green stage and shipped in refrigerated containers. Shipment under controlled atmosphere is still tentative, and the CO2 concentrations used are relatively low (maximum 10%), although mangoes have been reported as being less-sensitive to elevated CO2 than other tropical fruits. In the present study, CO2 concentrations of 10%, 15%, 25%, 35%, and 45% combined with 5% O2 were used to store mangoes. Mature-green `Tommy Atkins' were stored for 21 days at 12C, followed by air storage at 20C for 5 days. Tree-ripe mangoes were stored at 8 or 12C under the same conditions. Ethanol production rates increased along with increasing CO2 concentrations. However, only 35% and 45% CO2 atmospheres inflicted damage. Color development was severely inhibited under those treatments. Lower CO2 treatments, up to 25% in the storage atmosphere, inhibited skin color development and ethylene biosynthesis but, after 5 days in air at 20C, skin color and ethylene production reached control levels. Fruit flesh firmness did not differ among treatments at 12C. Tree ripe mangoes stored in CA at 8C were only significantly firmer than control fruit at transfer from CA to air.

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Jennifer R. DeEll and Robert K. Prange

This paper reports preliminary results on the postharvest quality and storage characteristics of several scab-resistant apple cultivars. `Novaspy', `Moira', `Priscilla', `Novamac', `Nova Easygro', `Prima', and `Macfree' were stored for 3 months at 3C in air or standard controlled atmosphere (CA; 4.5% CO2 and 2.5% O2) in 1990 and for 4 months at 0C in air, standard CA, or low-O, CA (LO; 1.5% CO2 and 1.5% O2) in 1991. `Moira', `Prima', and `Priscilla' had very limited storage life. `Moira' was susceptible to bitterpit, scald, core browning, vascular breakdown, and storage rots. `Prima' was susceptible to core browning and vascular breakdown and had a high incidence of storage rots in air storage. `Priscilla' had several defects as a result of insect damage and was susceptible to bitterpit and scald. `Novaspy' stored very well and had virtually no physiological disorders or storage rots. `Novamac, `Nova Easygro', and `Macfree' developed few storage rots and were essentially at the end of their storage life after 4 months, regardless of storage conditions. Firmness in `Novamac' decreased substantially in all storage atmospheres, while `Nova Easygro' and `Macfree' were susceptible to core browning and scald.

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Richard L. Bell, T. van der Zwet, and R.C. Blake

`Blake's Pride' has been released jointly by USDA and The Ohio State Univ. as a new fire blight-resistant cultivar. The original seedling tree was selected in 1977 at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster by R.C. Blake and T. van der Zwet from a cross of US 446 × US 505, performed in 1965 by H.J. Brooks, and was tested under the original seedling number, OHUS 66131-021. The fruit of `Blake's Pride' is pyriform to round-pyriform in shape, and is moderate in size, averaging ≈2.75″ to 3″ in diameter, and 3.25″ in height. The stem is short, medium in thickness, and upright. Skin undercolor is yellow, the finish is glossy, and 20% to 30% of the fruit surface is covered with a smooth, light tan russet. Harvest maturity occurs about 3 weeks after `Bartlett', and the fruit will store in air storage for at least 3 months without core breakdown or superficial scald. The flesh texture is moderately fine, juicy, and buttery. Grit cells are moderately small and occur primarily around the core and in a thin layer under the skin, similar to `Bartlett'. The flavor is subacid and aromatic. The tree is moderate in vigor on `Bartlett' seedling rootstock, and upright-spreading in habit. Yield has been moderate to moderately high. Fire blight infections are rare, and extend no further than 1-year-old growth. Artificial blossom inoculations indicate a moderate degree of resistance of blossoms to fire blight infection. Resistance of `Blake's Pride' to both shoot and blossom infection is much greater than that of `Bartlett'.

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Ma. Teresa MartÌnez-Damian and Marita I. Cantwell

Spinach is not packed commercially in modified-atmosphere packaging due to difficulties in maintaining beneficial conditions during distribution, where temperature fluctuations can occur. However, low O2 and high CO2 atmospheres can be useful to retard yellowing and deterioration. In two experiments we studied developing and full-size leaves stored at 7.5 °C in air and controlled atmospheres of 0.5% O2 + 10%CO2 and 5%O2 + 10% or 20% CO2. Subjective quality evaluations (visual quality, decay, discoloration, off-odors, and yellowing) and objective evaluations (L*a*b* color values, chlorophyll, pH and titratable acidity, ammonia, and ethanol and acetaldehyde) were conducted every 3 days during 15 days. The developing leaves had higher visual quality and lower off-odor scores during storage than did the full-size leaves. In air storage, leaves were below the limit of salability by day 12. The atmospheres containing 10% CO2 were similarly effective in maintaining the visual quality and greenness of the leaves, and reduced off-odors in developing but not full-size leaves. The 20% CO2 atmosphere resulted in some leaf damage. Ammonia concentrations increased during storage, with lowest and highest concentrations in leaves stored in air and 20% CO2, respectively. Tissue pH only slightly increased from 6.5 in air-stored samples, but increased notably during storage in the controlled atmospheres. At 2.5 and 7.5 °C, a plastic film providing a 5% O2 and 6% CO2 atmosphere resulted in better quality spinach than that obtained with either a 10% O2 and 3% CO2 package atmosphere or the commercial perforated polybag.

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Zohar Shaham, Amnon Lers, and Susan Lurie

`Granny Smith' apples [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] were harvested in two seasons and stored at 0 °C air storage with no pretreatment (control), after heating for 4 d at 38 °C, or after treating for 16 hours at 20 °C with 1 μL·L-1 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP). The effects of the two treatments on superficial scald development were consistent over both seasons. Scald began to appear after 8 weeks in control fruit, after 16 weeks in heated fruit but not on 1-MCP treated fruit. α-Farnesene accumulation and oxidation were slower in the skin of heated than in control fruit, and almost entirely absent in 1-MCP treated fruit. The activities of five antioxidant enzymes, ascorbate peroxidase, catalase, glutathione reductase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutate, were measured at two-week intervals in the apple peel, quantitatively as total activity and qualitatively by isozyme analysis. Enzyme activities either increased or remained stable during 16 weeks of storage, except for superoxide dismutase activity, which decreased. Ascorbate oxidase activity was higher in heated than control apples and there was an additional peroxidase isozyme present in activity gels. The activities of antioxidant enzymes were lower in 1-MCP treated fruit except for catalase during the first month of storage. Lipid soluble antioxidant activity was higher in 1-MCP treated fruit than the fruit of the other treatments, and water soluble antioxidant activity was higher in both treatments than in control fruit during the time that scald was developing in control apples. Both free and total phenol contents in the peel fluctuated during storage but no consistent trend was detected. The differences in enzyme activity and antioxidant content of the peel of 1-MCP and heated apples may play a role in preventing or delaying the appearance of superficial scald.

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Richard L. Bell*, Tom van der Zwet, and Diane D. Miller

`Shenandoah' is a new European pear (Pyrus communis L.) cultivar which combines resistance to fire blight with fruit of excellent quality. The original seedling tree was selected in 1985 from a cross of `Max Red Bartlett'× US 56112-146, and was tested under the original seedling number, US 78304-057. The fruit of `Shenandoah' is pyriform in shape, and moderately large in size, averaging 72 mm in diameter and 92 mm in height. Skin color at harvest is light green, turning yellow-green when ripe. The skin finish is glossy, and 10% to 20% of the fruit surface is blushed red. There is light tan russet at the calyx. Lenticles are slightly conspicuous, and are surrounded by small, light brown russet. The stem is medium to long (≈25 mm), of medium thickness, and slightly curved. Harvest maturity occurs about four weeks after `Bartlett', and the fruit will store in refrigerated (-1 °C) air storage for at least four months without core breakdown or superficial scald. The flesh texture is moderately fine, juicy, and buttery. Grit cells are moderately small and occur primarily around the core and in a thin layer under the skin. The flavor is aromatic, similar to `Bartlett', and is moderately acidic during the first two months of storage, becoming subacid after longer storage. The tree is moderate in vigor on `Bartlett' seedling and `OHxF 97' rootstocks, and upright-spreading in habit. Shenandoah' blooms in mid-season, similar to `Bartlett'. Yield has been moderately high and precocious, and with no pronounced biennial pattern. Fire blight resistance is similar to `Seckel', with infections extending no further than 1-year-old branches. Artificial blossom inoculations indicate a moderate degree of blossom resistance to fire blight infection.

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Duane W. Greene

`Gardiner Delicious'/MM.lO6 apple (Malus domestics Borkh.) trees were initially sprayed in 1985 with paclobutrazol (PB) at 250 mg.liter-1 at tight cluster and again on 10 and 25 June and 29 July. From 1986 through 1988, PB sprays of 85 or 100 mg·liter-1 were applied at either petal fall (PF) + 2 or PF + 4 weeks and one to two additional sprays were applied per year when growth resumed. Promalin was applied to one group of trees that received PB starting at PF + 2 weeks. PB reduced terminal, lateral, and total shoot growth the year of application and in subsequent years. Although average shoot length of lateral and terminal shoots was reduced, the greatest reduction in growth occurred because PB prevented spurs from growing into lateral and terminal shoots. Compared to unsprayed trees, PB reduced pruning time in all 4 years by 23% to 70%. PB increased bloom only the first year after application, but increased fruit set for 2 years due to a carryover effect. Application of PB in 1985 caused a reduction in fruit size, sometimes in soluble solids concentration, length: diameter (L : D) ratio, and pedicel length. Promalin either overcame the reduction in the ratio or increased it in 1986. Reduced rates of PB in subsequent years caused few adverse effects on the fruit. PB increased flesh firmness when applied at PF + 2 weeks but not at PF + 4 weeks. Trees treated with PB produced fruit with higher flesh Ca and less bitter pit, cork spot, and senescent breakdown following regular air storage. Chemical names used: ß -(4 -chlorophenyl)methyl α -(1,1-dimethylethyl) -1H-l,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol, PB); gibberellins A4+7 plus N-(phenylmethyl) -1H-purine-6-amine (Promalin).