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F. Roger Harker, Christopher B. Watkins, Paul L. Brookfield, Mellisa J. Miller, Suzanne Reid, Phillippa J. Jackson, Roderick L. Bieleski, and Tim Bartley

Preharvest development and postharvest disappearance of watercore in `Fuji' apples (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) from a northern (Hawke's Bay, latitude 39° south) and southern (Otago, latitude 45° south) region of New Zealand were compared. A new method for quantifying watercore was developed. A photocopy was taken of the symptoms after each fruit was cut in half through the equator, and then the area of affected flesh (photocopies black) was measured using morphometric methods and compared to the area of unaffected flesh (photocopies white). Watercore was more severe and developed earlier in the season in Otago than in Hawke's Bay. In Otago, a block-type watercore predominated, disorder symptoms initially appearing in the tissues located at the junction of two carpels, while in Hawke's Bay a radial-type of watercore predominated, initially appearing in the tissues surrounding the coreline vascular bundles. Regression analysis identified that orchard and harvest date accounted for most of the differences in watercore symptoms and that the initial appearance of low levels of watercore was the best predictor that fruit would start to develop commercially significant levels of watercore. Incorporation of background color, internal ethylene concentration, starch pattern index, and firmness only slightly improved the regression coefficient. Watercore disappeared from the flesh during storage of fruit from both regions. Fruit from early harvests had the least severe symptoms, and the highest rates of watercore disappearance during storage. In fruit with more severe symptoms at harvest, its disappearance during storage was associated with an increase in fruit volume and air space, which occurred despite continuing mass loss. We suggest that during storage, the extracellular fluid associated with watercore symptoms is absorbed into the cells, and thus drives the increase in fruit volume.

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Gregory M. Peck, Preston K. Andrews, John P. Reganold, and John K. Fellman

Located on a 20-ha commercial apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) orchard in the Yakima Valley, Washington, a 1.7-ha study area was planted with apple trees in 1994 in a randomized complete block design with four replications of three treatments: organic (ORG), conventional (CON), and integrated (INT). Soil classification, rootstock, cultivar, plant age, and all other conditions except management were the same on all plots. In years 9 (2002) and 10 (2003) of this study, we compared the orchard productivity and fruit quality of `Galaxy Gala' apples. Measurements of crop yield, yield efficiency, crop load, average fruit weight, tree growth, color grades, and weight distributions of marketable fruit, percentages of unmarketable fruit, classifications of unmarketable fruit, as well as leaf, fruit, and soil mineral concentrations, were used to evaluate orchard productivity. Apple fruit quality was assessed at harvest and after refrigerated (0 to 1 °C) storage for three months in regular atmosphere (ambient oxygen levels) and for three and six months in controlled atmosphere (1.5% to 2% oxygen). Fruit internal ethylene concentrations and evolution, fruit respiration, flesh firmness, soluble solids concentration (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), purgeable volatile production, sensory panels, and total antioxidant activity (TAA) were used to evaluate fruit quality. ORG crop yields were two-thirds of the CON and about half of the INT yields in 2002, but about one-third greater than either system in 2003. High ORG yields in 2003 resulted in smaller ORG fruit. Inconsistent ORG yields were probably the result of several factors, including unsatisfactory crop load management, higher pest and weed pressures, lower leaf and fruit tissue nitrogen, and deficient leaf tissue zinc concentrations. Despite production difficulties, ORG apples had 6 to 10 N higher flesh firmness than CON, and 4 to 7 N higher than INT apples, for similar-sized fruit. Consumer panels tended to rate ORG and INT apples to have equal or better overall acceptability, firmness, and texture than CON apples. Neither laboratory measurements nor sensory evaluations detected differences in SSC, TA, or the SSC to TA ratio. Consumers were unable to discern the higher concentrations of flavor volatiles found in CON apples. For a 200 g fruit, ORG apples contained 10% to 15% more TAA than CON apples and 8% to 25% more TAA than INT apples. Across most parameters measured in this study, the CON and INT farm management systems were more similar to each other than either was to the ORG system. The production challenges associated with low-input organic apple farming systems are discussed. Despite limited technologies and products for organic apple production, the ORG apples in our study showed improvements in some fruit quality attributes that could aid their marketability.

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Satoru Kondo and Yusuke Takano

Effects of the synthetic auxin 2,4-DP on fruit ripening of `La France' pear (Pyrus communis L.) on `Quince C' (Cydonia oblonga Mill. rootstock) were investigated. A solution of 2,4-DP at 90 μL·L-1 was applied 143, 151, and 159 days after full bloom (DAFB) to whole trees and compared with nonstored nontreated fruit and stored nontreated fruit (harvested 165 DAFB). Internal ethylene concentration in 2,4-DP-treated fruit increased more than in nonstored nontreated fruit and the level was higher the earlier the application time. Fruit firmness decreased earliest for fruit treated with 2,4-DP at 143 DAFB, followed by 151 DAFB-treated fruit and then 159 DAFB-treated fruit. In the nonstored nontreated fruit, firmness also showed a slight decrease with time. In all 2,4-DP treatments, water-soluble polyuronide (WSP) increased with ripening and hexametaphosphate-soluble polyuronide (HMP) and HCl-soluble polyuronide (HP) concentrations decreased. Most notably, WSP concentration increased earliest in fruit treated with 2,4-DP at 143 DAFB. Total concentration of neutral sugars from cell walls in each treatment decreased with time, and the levels in fruit treated with 2,4-DP at 143 DAFB were lowest at each sampling time. Arabinose concentrations were high compared with other neutral sugars throughout fruit ripening for each treatment, while glucose concentrations were high in nonripened fruit. At 193 DAFB, ≈85% of the fruit treated with 2,4-DP at 143 DAFB reached edible condition (firmness not more than 0.4 N·mm-2) on the tree. Furthermore, ≈85% of the fruit treated with 2,4-DP at 151 DAFB reached edible condition on 200 DAFB and close to 100% of the fruit treated with 2,4-DP at 159 DAFB on 207 DAFB. When ripened in a controlled room at 20 °C and 90% relative humidity after 2,4-DP treatment, the fruit treated earliest reached edible condition the soonest. Results demonstrate that 2,4-DP treatment can be used as an effective method of producing good quality fruit ripened on the tree, and that 2,4-DP may be an adequate replacement for cold storage conditioning to induce ripening capacity. Chemical name used: 2,4-dichlorophenoxy-propionic acid (2,4-DP).

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Jennifer R. DeEll and Geoffrey B. Lum

samples from each orchard. Internal ethylene concentration was determined by withdrawing a 3-mL gas sample from the core of each fruit using a syringe and injecting the gas sample into a Varian CP-3380 gas chromatograph (Varian Canada Inc., Mississauga

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Jorge A. Zegbe, M. Hossein Behboudian, Brent E. Clothier, and Alexander Lang

, 2007 ). However, there is no information on the effects of PRD on long-term storage performance of apple fruit and on some fruit quality attributes such as fruit weight loss in storage and internal ethylene concentration (IEC) as an indicator of fruit

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Thomas M. Kon, James R. Schupp, H. Edwin Winzeler, and Richard P. Marini

). An additional 10-fruit sample was used to quantify internal ethylene concentration. Internal ethylene of whole fruit samples was collected through vacuum extraction ( Saltveit, 1982 ). One-milliliter gas samples were injected into a gas chromatograph

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Renae E. Moran, Jennifer R. DeEll, and Dennis P. Murr

, 1992 ). To measure internal ethylene concentration (IEC), a 3-mL gas sample was withdrawn from the core of each fruit using a syringe and injecting the sample into a Varian CP-3800 gas chromatograph (Varian Canada Inc., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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Luiz C. Argenta, Xuetong Fan, and James P. Mattheis

at 20 °C, or after 3 or 6 months of cold storage plus 1 or 7 d at 20 °C. Fruit firmness, starch index (1 = 100% starch coverage; 6 = 0% starch), titratable acidity (TA), soluble solids content, internal ethylene concentration (IEC), respiration, and

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Jennifer R. DeEll, Jennifer T. Ayres, and Dennis P. Murr

and Silsby, 1992 ). Apples were cut in half at the equator and were rated on a scale of 1 to 8, where 1 = 100% starch staining and 8 = 0% staining. Internal ethylene concentration (IEC) was determined by withdrawing a 3-mL gas sample from the core of

Open access

Richard P. Marini, Tara Auxt Baugher, Megan Muehlbauer, Sherif Sherif, Robert Crassweller, and James R. Schupp

conditioned and unconditioned fruit in relation to mineral contents and harvest indices. For unconditioned fruit sampled at the start of commercial harvest, bitter pit incidence was least severe for fruit with high internal ethylene concentration, low starch