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Open access

Gene Lester

Abstract

Changes in morphology of epidermal layers and in permeability of mesocarp membranes of ‘Honey Dew’ and netted muskmelon fruits (Cucumis melo L., var. inodorus and reticulatus, respectively) were compared for 10 through 60 days after anthesis to relate tissue changes to storage life. Twenty-day-old netted muskmelon fruit developed lenticular tissue (net) over the entire melon surface. The muskmelon net had become fissured by 50 days after anthesis (10 days postharvest). ‘Honey Dew’ fruit did not develop lenticular tissue nor did the epidermis become fissured. ‘Honey Dew’ and netted muskmelon fruits had similar membrane electrolyte leakage characteristics (60% ± 3%) when harvested ripe, but, after 10 days at 20°C, electrolyte leakage was 70% and 87%, respectively. Membrane electrolyte leakage for both cultivars had a high regression coefficient (R 2 = 0.97) with fruit maturation and postharvest senescence. An intact epidermis indirectly affected mesocarp membrane permeability and perhaps contributed to differences in muskmelon cultivar storage life.

Open access

D.C. Elfving, C.L. Chu, E.C. Lougheed, and R.A. Cline

Abstract

Foliar daminozide (DZ) and paclobutrazol (PBZ) applications delayed apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) fruit maturation and ripening at harvest the year of treatment. There was little effect on juice soluble solids or mean fruit weight. Following 24 weeks of air storage, treated fruit were firmer and displayed less core browning than those untreated. Trunk-drench or soil-spray applications of PBZ had little or no effect on any of these quality or physiological parameters of the fruit. In the year after treatment there were no residual effects of either DZ or PBZ on any fruit physiological parameters, despite significant PBZ-induced reductions in shoot growth, fruit size, seed number, pedicel length, and alterations in fruit shape. Chemical names used: butanedioic acid mono(2,2-dimethylhydrazide) (daminozide); β-[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]-α-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

Open access

E. C. Lougheed, C. W. Fischer, and D. P. Murr

Abstract

In situ measurements of impedance and resistance of fruits have not found general use in measuring fruit maturation, senescence, and physiological condition despite some advantages over measurements of electrolyte leakage (exosmosis) from excised tissue. The advantages are ease and rapidity of techniques and preservation of the fruit for other analyses. The disadvantages or difficulties are the small measurable differences, cost and suitability of instrumentation for rapid measurements, choice of frequency of imposed current, suitable placement of electrodes to compensate for variation, and interpretation of data in physiological terms relating to membrane permeability or other developmental changes. With proper selection of methods and instrumentation, in situ impedance and resistance measurements have a potential not yet exploited.

Free access

Zhiguo Ju and William J. Bramlage

Effects of fruit maturity, aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) and 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon) preharvest treatments, and storage conditions on cuticular phenolic concentration, α-farnesene oxidation, and scald susceptibility of `Delicious' apple were studied. Advanced maturity and ethephon reduced scald. AVG totally inhibited scald when the AVG-treated fruit were stored in low-ethylene room (<1 μL•L-1). In commercial room (ethylene >5 μL•L-1), however, AVG did not reduce scald. Advanced maturity and ethephon did not alter α-farnesene accumulation but significantly reduced conjugated triene (CT281) formation. AVG reduced α-farnesene and CT281 accumulation to very low levels in low-ethylene room but not in commercial room. Both advanced maturity and ethephon increased free phenolics in fruit cuticle, while AVG reduced them. Free cuticular phenolics increased during early storage in ethephon-treated and control fruit but not in AVG-treated fruit. Overall, free phenolics in fruit cuticle negatively correlated with formation of CT281 and scald susceptibility of apples. Neither fruit maturation nor AVG or ethephon treatment significantly affected lipid-soluble antioxidant concentration in fruit cuticle.

Free access

Wayne Loescher, Tad Johnson, Randolph Beaudry, and Sastry Jayanty

Sorbitol is the major carbohydrate translocated into apple fruit where it is normally metabolized to fructose. In watercored apple fruit tissues, however, the intercellular spaces become flooded and sorbitol content is consistently higher than in nonwatercored apples, suggesting a defect in sugar alcohol metabolism or transport. Our previous results have identified and characterized two sorbitol transporters, MsSOT1 and MsSOT2, in apple fruit tissues. Sorbitol transporter gene expression has been implicated in development of watercore with MsSOT expression diminished or absent in certain watercored fruit tissues. To explore this further, we have investigated the relationships between watercore, fruit maturation, fruit composition, and MsSOT expression in a number of apple cultivars that differ in watercore susceptibility. We also compared transporter expression between affected (watercored) and healthy parts of the same fruit and between watercored and nonwatercored fruits throughout the maturation and ripening processes. The MsSOT expression was often dramatically reduced in fruit tissues exhibiting watercore. Thus, in susceptible cultivars, maturing (ripening) fruit parenchyma cells lose the ability to transport sorbitol, and this in turn leads to sorbitol accumulation in the apoplastic free space and subsequent flooding of these spaces. These results are consistent with a relationship between watercore and sorbitol transport and also with a genetic susceptibility to the disorder.

Free access

D.J. Makus

Kaolin cover sprays and mycorrhizal inoculation of tomatoes at transplanting were evaluated for their efficacy in improving tomato plant water status and agronomic performance in a supraoptimal, semiarid environment. Seven-week-old `Heatmaster' tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were transplanted with or without a vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculant (Gomes intaradices Schenk & Smith) on 19 Feb. 99 into a Raymondville clay loam soil in Weslaco, Texas (lat. 26°12′). One-half of the inoculated and one-half of the uninoculated plants were sprayed between 16 Mar. and 1 June with seven applications of the kaolin-based particle film “Surround.” The trickle-irrigated plots were 5.6 m2 in size and treatments replicated four times in a RCB design. Commercial cultural practices were followed, but no fungicides were used. Results indicated that mycorrhizal inoculation tended to accelerate fruit maturation and that particle film applications delayed fruit development relative to the control treatment. Mycorrhizal (only) treated plants had the highest yields at the second (of eight) harvests compared to the other treatments. There were no significant differences between treatments in leaf temperature, diffusive resistance, transpiration rate, water potential, and soil profile moisture, except between sampling dates. Fruit mineral nutrients, pigments, dry matter, average weight, total marketable and total season yields were not significantly affected by any treatment. When fruits were sectioned into proximal and distal halves, 10 out of the 14 nutrients measured, in addition to dry matter, and total carotenoids were higher in the distal end.

Free access

S.A. Weinbaum, F.J.A. Niederholzer, S. Ponchner, R.C. Rosecrance, R.M. Carlson, A.C. Whittlesey, and T.T. Muraoka

Four adjacent heavily cropping 12-year-old `Petite d'Agen' prune (Prunus domestica L.) trees were selected, and two of the trees were defruited in late spring (28 May) after the spring growth flush and full leaf expansion. Trees received K daily through the drip-irrigation system, and 15N-depleted (NH4)2SO4 was applied twice between the dates of defruiting and fruit maturation. Trees were excavated at the time of fruit maturity (28 July) and fractionated into their component parts. The following determinations were made after tree excavation and sample processing: tree dry weight, dry weight distribution among the various tree fractions (fruit, leaves, roots, trunk, and branches), tree nutrient contents, within-tree nutrient distribution, total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNCs), and recovery of labeled N. Trees only recovered ≈3% of the isotopically labeled fertilizer N over the 6-week experimental period. Heavily cropping trees absorbed ≈9 g more K per tree (17% of total tree K content) during the 2-month period of stage III fruit growth than defruited trees. The enhanced K uptake in heavily cropping trees was apparently conditioned by the large fruit K demand and occurred despite greatly reduced levels of starch and TNCs relative to defruited trees. Fruit K accumulation in heavily cropping trees was accompanied by K depletion from leaves and perennial tree parts. Except for K, fruited and defruited trees did not differ in nutrient content.

Free access

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.

Free access

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.

Free access

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.