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Claudia Dussi, David Sugar, A. Azarenko, and T. Righetti

Fruit color of `Sensation' and `Max' Red Bartlett pears was analyzed once at mid-season and three times during later stages of fruit maturity with a Minolta CR-200b portable colorimeter. Color measurements were taken on sun-exposed and shaded fruit surfaces in three different growing locations in Oregon. Color change is nearly constant over time during fruit maturation. Both cultivars gained red and yellow on sun-exposed fruit surfaces, and lost red but gained yellow on shaded surfaces. `Sensation' gained red on sun-exposed surfaces to a greater extent than did `Max' at all locations. `Max' gained more yellow and lost more red on shaded surfaces than did `Sensation'. Differences between cultivars and locations were greater on shaded than on sun-exposed fruit surfaces. Greatest gain in both red and yellow on sun-exposed surfaces was associated with the warmest growing location. Visually perceived color change with maturity appears to be due both to loss of red on shaded surfaces and gain of yellow on all surfaces.

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Michele R. Warmund and James T. English

In 1993, ice-nucleation-active (INA) bacteria were isolated from `Redwing' red raspberries (Rubus idaeus L. var. idaeus) at five pigmentation stages. Fruit were also subjected to thermal analysis to determine the ice nucleation temperatures. INA bacteria were recovered from nearly all fruit samples, and the bacterial populations tended to decrease with greater red color development (i.e., fruit maturation). However, the ice nucleation temperature was not affected by the stage of fruit pigmentation. In 1994, INA bacterial densities were similar among fruit at the three pigmentation stages sampled. INA bacteria were recovered more often from the calyx rather than the drupe surface of these fruit. INA bacteria also were detected on pistils of some fruit. Red and pink fruit, which were nucleated with ice, had greater receptacle injury than mottled, yellow, or green fruit, but INA bacterial densities apparently were not related to injury. Thus, the injury response of fruit at different pigmentation (or development) stages indicated that nonbacterial ice nuclei may be involved in freezing injury of developing raspberries.

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Russell Pressey and Richard B. Russell

Polygalacturonase inhibitors have been reported in a number of dicotyledonous plant tissues including pear and raspberry fruits and bean seedlings. These proteins inhibit fungal polygalacturonases and thus have been implicated in disease resistance in plants. The earlier work on the inhibitor from bean plants was conducted with hypocotyls as the source. We have found that immature bean pods contain much more inhibitor than other parts of the plant and developed a procedure for purification of this inhibitor. Fresh bean pods were extracted with 1.0 M NaCl at pH 7 and the proteins were precipitated with ammonium sulfate. The proteins were dissolved, dialyzed and chromatographed on a column of S-Sepharose. The inhibitor from this step was then chromatographed on a Mono Q column at high pH. Yields of the inhibitor varied somewhat with bean cultivar and pod maturity but were about ten times higher than from hypocotyls. The purified inhibitor reacted optimally with Aspergillus niger endopolygalacturonase at pH 4.3 and appeared to be similar to the inhibitor from hypocotyls. Bean pods thus are a convenient source of polygalacturonase inhibitor for studies on fruit maturation and disease resistance in plants.

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Lili Zhou and Robert E. Paull

This study examined the relationship between the activity of fruit enzymes involved in metabolizing sucrose and sugar accumulation during fruit development, to clarify the role of these key enzymes in sugar accumulation in papaya fruit. Papaya fruit (Carica papaya L. cv. Sunset) were harvested from 14 to 140 days after anthesis (DAA). Fruit dry matter persent, total soluble solids (TSS), and sugar composition and the activity of enzymes: sucrose phosphate synthetase (SPS), sucrose synthetase (SS), and acid invertase were measured. `Sunset' papaya matured 140 days after anthesis during the Hawaii summer season and in about 180 days in cool season on the same plant. Fruit flesh dry matter persent, TSS, and total sugar did not significantly increase until 30 days before harvest. Sucrose synthetase was very high 2 weeks post-anthesis, then decreased to less than one-third in 42 to 56 DAA, then remained relatively low during the rest of fruit development. Seven to 14 days before fruit maturation, SS increased about 30% at the same time as sucrose accumulation in the fruit. Acid invertase activity was very low in the young fruit and increased more than 10-fold 42 to 14 days before maturation. SPS activity remained very low throughout the fruit development and was about 40% higher in mature-green fruit. The potential roles of invertase and sucrose synthetase in sugar accumulation will be discussed.

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Peter Cousins*

The grapevine shoot consists of nodes without clusters (inflorescences) basal to a zone in which leaf-opposed clusters are found at the nodes. Beyond the cluster zone leaf-opposed tendrils are borne at the nodes. The numbers and possible relationship of basal nodes and clusters are important in grapevine breeding and improvement. Basal node number influences cluster placement within the canopy, which relates to light penetration to the fruit and fruit maturation and to application of cultural practices, including harvest and cluster treatments. Cluster number is a primary yield component. Basal node and clusters numbers were counted on ten primary shoots each of forty grapevine (Vitis) accessions. The accessions analyzed are cultivars and wild species collections held in the United States National Plant Germplasm System. The correlation coefficient of the number of basal nodes and number of clusters was calculated using the means of the ten observations per accession. Basal node and clusters numbers were negatively correlated; the correlation coefficient was -0.763, which is significant (P <0.001). The negative correlation of basal node and cluster number has implications for grapevine improvement.

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Sher-Muhammad and Bradley H. Taylor

G A3 sprays (50, 65, 100 mg/L) were applied to six single tree replications of mature `Redhaven' and `Cresthaven' trees on 23 June 1989 to measure their effect on fruit maturity and the relationship among its indices. There was little effect of GA3 on fruit diameter except on the final harvest when the treated trees had 6% larger fruits. Seventy-two percent of the total yield of `Redhaven' control trees was mature at the first picking while only 30% of total yield from treated trees was ready on the same date. GA3 had a similar effect on fruit maturation on `Cresthaven'. Fruit on treated `Redhaven' trees were on average 1.3 kg firmer than control. Furthermore, GA3 increased the firmness over control on the shaded and sunny side and the suture of the fruit and no interaction between the location of pressure test and GA3 treatments was observed. There was a slight reduction in yellow ground color of G A3 treated fruits. The effect of GA3 on the relationship between individual fruit color and firmness will be examined. The effects of 1990 GA3 sprays on peach maturity and quality will also be presented.

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Shohei Yamaki and Migifumi Ino

A study was conducted to determine the distribution of sugars in vacuoles, cytoplasm, and free space in apples (Malus domestica Bork) picked at the immature and mature stage of maturity. The volumes of free space and air space were 13.4% and 14.5%, respectively, in immature fruit, and 14.6% and 25.6%, respectively, in mature fruit. The inner cellular volume (vacuole + cytoplasm) was 72% and 60% for immature and mature fruit, respectively. About 90% of each sugar (glucose, fructose, sucrose, and sorbitol) was found in the vacuole. The concentration of total sugar in the inner cell or free space was 326 or 128 mm each in immature fruit and 937 or 406 mm each in mature fruit. Permeability to sugars across the plasma membrane and tonoplast also increased with fruit maturation, 7- to 30-fold for the tonoplast and 4- to 5-fold for the plasma membrane in mature compared to immature fruit. Cells in immature fruit apparently enlarge through higher turgor pressure from sequestering of sugars into vacuoles, and cease to enlarge in mature fruit as the amount of sugar unloading into the fruit is reduced due to the accumulation of sugar in the free space or cytoplasm.

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David M. Francis, Sheryl A. Barringer, and Robert E. Whitmoyer

Yellow shoulder disorder (YSD) is characterized by sectors of yellow or green tissue under the peel of uniform ripening tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) fruit. Tissues excised from sectors of fruit expressing YSD, from adjacent red sectors, and from mature green fruit were used to compare the ultrastructural alterations in cells and tissue affected by YSD and to determine whether the disorder is caused by delayed fruit maturation or by aberrant development. Cells from YSD sectors were smaller than those from both adjacent red-ripe tissue and mature green fruit. The smaller cells from the YSD sectors were at a different developmental stage than cells of the adjacent red-ripe tissue. Chromoplasts in red-ripe tissue were more advanced in development than those in YSD sectors or mature green fruit. Using the transition from chloroplast to chromoplast and the degradation of the middle lamella between adjacent cells as developmental markers, the maturity of tissue from YSD sectors appeared to be equal or greater than that of tissue from mature green fruit. However, cell enlargement, which takes place early in fruit development, was retarded in YSD sectors. Therefore, the ultrastructural features of YSD are not compatible with a delayed ripening model for this blotchy ripening disorder. These observations provide a basis for comparing YSD in uniformly ripening tomatoes with other blotchy ripening disorders.

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Takaya Moriguchi, Kazuyuki Abe, Tetsuro Sanada, and Shohei Yamaki

Soluble sugar content and activities of the sucrose-metabolizing enzymes sucrose synthase (SS) (EC 2.4.1.13), sucrose-phosphate synthase (SPS) (EC 2.4.1.14), and acid invertase (EC 2.4.1.26) were analyzed in the pericarp of fruit from pear cultivars that differed in their potential to accumulate sucrose to identify key enzymes involved in sucrose accumulation in Asian pears. The Japanese pear `Chojuro' [Pyrus pyrifolia (Burro. f.) Nakai] was characterized as a high-sucrose-accumulating type based on the analysis of mature fruit, while the Chinese pear `Yali' (P. bretschneideri Rehd.) was a low-sucrose-accumulating type throughout all developmental stages. The activity of SS and SPS in `Chojuro' increased during maturation concomitant with sucrose accumulation, whereas the activity of these enzymes in `Yali' did not increase during maturation. The activity of SS and SPS in the former were seven and four times, respectively, higher than those in the latter at the mature stage. Further, among 23 pear cultivars, SS activity was closely correlated with sucrose content, while SPS activity was weakly correlated. Soluble acid invertase activity in `Chojuro' and `Yali' decreased with fruit maturation, but the relationships between soluble invertase activity and sucrose content were not significant. The results indicate that SS and SPS are important determinants of sucrose accumulation in Asian pear fruit and that a decrease of soluble acid invertase activity is not absolutely required for sucrose accumulation.

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Zhenyong Wang and David R. Dilley

AVG, as ReTain™, an inhibitor of ethylene biosynthesis, was used alone or with a subsequent application of ethephon (Ethrel™), an ethylene-releasing chemical, to determine if red color development could be enhanced without over-ripening `Gala' and `Jonagold' apples. Treatments included: 1) AVG alone; 2) AVG followed by ethephon; 3) ethephon alone; and 4) control. Silwet L-77 surfactant was included in all treatments. Application of AVG delayed the onset of the ethylene climacteric and red color development of both cultivars. Application of AVG followed by ethephon similarly delayed the onset of the ethylene climacteric, but red color development at the commercial harvest date was only marginally reduced or not affected. The results were similar in both 1998 and 1999, although environmental stress during the growing seasons differed (1998—heat; 1999—moderate temperatures). The delay of fruit maturation and ripening observed at harvest following AVG +/- ethephon treatments improved storability of fruit in controlled atmosphere (CA) storage, as demonstrated by low internal ethylene levels after storage, and high retention of flesh firmness and shelf-life, while control fruit and those treated only with ethephon entered the ethylene climacteric during storage, and flesh firmness subsequently declined during shelf-life evaluation. Chemical name used: aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG).