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Open access

Thomas M. Sjulin and JoAnn Robbins

Abstract

‘Meeker’ red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) fruit harvested at three maturity stages [inception (IN), red ripe (RR), and processing ripe (PR)] on four harvest dates at weekly intervals were held 0, 3, 6, and 9 days at 0°C and 90-95% RH. Fruit retention strength, firmness, and titratable acidity decreased with increasing maturity, while berry weight, total anthocyanin concentration, pH, and postharvest rot incidence increased. Fruit were darker visually with increasing maturity when compared to color standards. Soluble solids differences among stages of maturity were not consistent for all harvest dates. During storage, fruit at all stages of maturity increased in pH, total anthocyanin concentration, and postharvest rot incidence, but decreased in titratable acidity and darkened visually. The rate of increase in anthocyanin concentration and visual darkening was greater for IN and RR fruit than PR fruit. Total anthocyanin concentration accounted for 85% of the variation in visual darkness. Changes in red hues during storage, and differences in red hues among stages of maturity, were not consistent for all harvests and were not related to total anthocyanin concentration. Firmness increased during storage for the first harvest date, but decreased for the remaining three harvests. Berry weight, firmness, and titratable acidity decreased for all stages of maturity with later harvest dates, while postharvest rot incidence increased. This decrease in berry weight was greater for RR fruit than IN or PR fruit. Harvest date affected pH and rate of weight loss of all maturity stages and fruit retention strength of IN and RR fruit, but not PR fruit. Total anthocyanin concentration increased with later harvest dates of PR fruit, but did not change in IN or RR fruit. Soluble solids decreased linearly with harvest date in IN and PR fruit, but changed nonlinearly in RR fruit.

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John R. Clark and James N. Moore

The southern highbush blueberry cultivars `Blueridge', `Cape Fear', `Georgiagem' and `O'Neal' were evaluated for their response to sawdust/woodchip mulch for five years at Clarksville, Arkansas on a Linker fine sandy loam soil. Mulched plants produced higher yields and larger plant volumes than non-mulched. Berry weight was similar for mulch treatment except for the first fruiting year. All cultivars responded to mulch, although `Blueridge' and 'Cape Fear' produced the higher yields. General response of these cultivars of southern highbush was similar to that of northern highbush in previous mulch studies in Arkansas.

Open access

E.J. Garvey and P.M. Lyrene

Abstract

Nineteen native blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade) clones selected from several areas in northern Florida and southeastern Georgia were self- and cross-pollinated in a greenhouse. Fruit set for the 19 clones averaged 15% after self-pollination and 58% after cross-pollination. Viable seeds per berry averaged four for self-pollination and 11 for cross-pollination. Average berry weight was 0.7 g for self-pollination and 1.1 g for cross-pollination, and average interval from flowering to ripening was 106 days for selfing and 92 days for crossing. Following self-pollination, pollen germinated and pollen tubes grew down the style as rapidly as after cross-pollination.

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Ann K. Hummell and David C. Ferree

A 2-year field study was initiated in 1994 to examine the interactions between crop load and cluster exposure and their influences on the yield and fruit quality of mature, own-rooted `Seyval blanc' grapevines. Light, moderate, and heavy crop loads were established near bloom by cluster-thinning vines planted at 2.6 × 3.0-m spacing to around 20, 40, and 80 clusters per vine, respectively. At veraison, three clusters per vine were given one of three natural shaded treatments: fully exposed, partially shaded, and densely shaded. Vines with the heavy crop load produced higher yields per vine and lower cluster and berry weights. Heavy vine clusters tended to be more green in 1994 and possessed lower pH and soluble solid concentrations in both years compared to other crop loads. Compared to densely shaded clusters, fully exposed clusters had smaller average cluster and berry weights, lower titratable acidity, higher pH and soluble solid concentrations, and more yellow coloration. In 1994, no significant interactions were found for any fruit quality or yield characteristics. In 1995, significant interactions were found for soluble solids and hue angle, but not for yield, pH, or titratable acidity. These results suggest that the crop load of the vine and microclimate around the cluster, in addition to their individual effects, sometimes interact to affect fruit quality in `Seyval blanc' wine grapes.

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J.G. Williamson and R.L. Darnell

Six-year-old, field-grown `Beckyblue' and `Bonita' rabbiteye blueberries were sprayed to drip with Pro-Gibb (250 ppm GA3, 0.1% surfactant, pH 3.1). Two spray applications were made. The first spray was applied at 80-90% full bloom followed by a second spray 10 days later. Fruit were harvested at five dates, from 21 May until 1 July, 1992. GA3 increased fruit set and doubled total fruit yield for both cultivars compared to the control. Fruit yield was greater for the GA3 treatment than for the control at harvest dates 3 through 5 for 'Beckyblue', and dates 4 and 5 for 'Bonita'. Average berry weight for both cultivars and for both treatments declined as the season progressed. For `Beckyblue', average berry weight did not differ between treatments at most harvest dates. For 'Bonita', average berryweight was less for the GA3 treatment than for the control at harvest dates 3 through 5. GA3 increased yield of rabbiteye blueberry with little detrimental effect on fruit size. However, results from Georgia suggest that greater positive effects on fruit set should be possible.

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Andrea E. Fiebig, J.T.A. Proctor, D.P. Murr, and R.D. Reeleder

Field experiments over 2 years were used to determine the effect of ethephon on: plant growth, weight of berries, proportion of red, green and immature berries, and root weight (economic yield) of 3-year-old north american ginseng plants (Panax quinquefolius L.). Ethephon sprays applied during bloom that thoroughly wetted the foliage and inflorescences immediately induced crop canopy descent (epinasty) exposing inflorescences and subsequently reducing plant height. Within a week the desired inflorescence and peduncle browning and flower drop took place. In each of four experiments ethephon, over the range 500 to 4000 mg·L-1, reduced berry weight and percent red berries, and increased the percent immature berries linearly. However, the responses to ethephon were variable. The highest concentration of 4000 mg·L-1 ethephon caused similar results in both years to the traditional practice of hand removal of inflorescences, but foliar reddening and some defoliation were observed. Buffering ethephon sprays at pH 2.6, 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0 gave similar results. The surfactant Tween 20 did not increase the effectiveness of the sprays. Generally, multiple applications of ethephon at lower concentrations were no more effective than comparable single higher concentration sprays. Carry-over effect of ethephon in the second year included crop stunting, an increase in root weight, and berry weights and berry color proportions similar to those plants on which hand removal was carried out in the first year. Chemical names used: 2-chloroethyl phosphonic acid (ethephon).

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Bernadine C. Strik, Neil Bell, and Gina Koskel

`Redcrest' plants were renovated at 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 weeks after harvest (WAH) from July 1 to Aug 26, 1992 and July 7 to Sept 1, 1993, plus an unrenovated control. Data on fall yield, maximum cold hardiness, and summer yield and berry weight were collected. For maximum cold hardiness, crowns were subjected to controlled freezing (-8, -11, -14, -17 or -20°C) and then evaluated by oxidative browning. Fall yield in 1993 was greater than in 1992. In 1992, fall yield was comparable for all renovation dates except the latest, 10 WAH. Unrenovated plants tended to have a lower fall yield than renovated plants. In 1993, plants renovated 2, 4, or 6 WAH had higher yields than control or late-renovated plants. Fall yield was not correlated with summer yield in 1993. Plants renovated 4 WAH had a higher summer yield in 1993 than unrenovated plants or those renovated at other times, which all had similar yields. Date of renovation had no effect on berry weight or percent fruit rot. Unrenovated plants and those renovated 2 or 4 WAH were hardier in winter 1992/93 than those renovated later.

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Eric Hanson and Annemiek Schilder

Twenty cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) genotypes were evaluated for five seasons in an experimental upland planting in southwest Michigan. Beds were constructed on a silty clay loam soil by excavating to grade, and filled with 30 to 45 cm of sand. Four 2 × 2-m plots of each genotype were planted in 1996. Fruit were harvested with hand scoops from 2000 to 2005. Yield per plot, average berry weight, and percent berries exhibiting decay were determined. Sound fruit were also stored at 2 °C for 4 to 8 weeks and sorted to determine the percentage of fruit developing decay in storage. Fungi were isolated and identified by morphological characteristics. Genotypes producing the highest average yields were `Stevens', `Ben Lear', #35, `LeMunyon', and `Franklin'. Varieties with the highest average berry weight were `Pilgrim', `Stevens', `Baines', `Beckwith', `Searles', and #35. Genotypes with lower rot incidence at harvest were #35, `Early Black', and `Foxboro Howes', whereas `Howes' and #35 developed the least rot during storage. Fungi commonly isolated from decaying fruit were Colletotrichum sp., Coleophoma empetri, Phomopsis vaccinii, Phyllosticta vaccinii, Fusicoccum putrefaciens, Botrytis cinerea, Pestalotia sp., and Allantophomopsis sp. Prevalence of specific fungi differed among cranberry genotypes.

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Andrew G. Reynolds and Christiane de Savigny

Vestigial seeds of `Sovereign Coronation' table grapes frequently form partial seedcoats that are perceptible during consumption. This problem was addressed through cane/cordon girdling and gibberellic acid (GA3) sprays. `Sovereign Coronation' vines were subjected to one of five treatments [untreated control; cane/cordon girdled; 15 ppm GA3 at bloom (GA1); GA1 + 40 ppm GA3 14 days later (GA2); GA2 + 40 ppm GA3 14 days later]. GA3 had no effect on yield or clusters per vine, but postbloom GA3 treatments increased cluster and berry weights and reduced berries per cluster. Fruit maturity was not consistently affected by the treatments, although slight increases in °Brix and pH and decreases in titratable acidity (TA) were associated with postbloom GA3 treatments. Use of postbloom GA3 applications reduced the number and weight of vestigial seeds with developed seedcoats, and reduced the number and weight of undeveloped seeds as well in 2 of 3 years. Girdling increased cluster and berry weights, decreased °Brix and TA, and increased pH. Transpiration rate of leaves on girdled vines was also higher than control vines on one sampling date. Data suggest that use of bloom and postbloom GA3 applications to `Sovereign Coronation' may reduce the formation of perceptible vestigial seeds and thus improve the marketability of this cultivar.

Free access

Patricio A. Brevis* and D. Scott NeSmith

Rabbiteye blueberries (Vaccinium ashei Reade) often exhibit poor fruit set under commercial field conditions. Problems of low fruit set have been attributed to short periods of flower receptivity in different fruit crops. This study seeks to establish the effective pollination period (EPP, defined as the number of days during which pollination is effective to produce a fruit) in rabbiteye blueberry. The cultivars Brightwell and Tifblue were chosen due to their known difference in fruit set and field performance. Flowers were hand pollinated 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 days after anthesis (DAA) using self- and cross-pollen. Fruit set, seeds per berry, berry weight and days to ripening were recorded. Fruit set showed a polynomial trend across flower ages. `Brightwell' was highly receptive from the day of anthesis, whereas, `Tifblue' receptivity was low until 2 DAA. `Brightwell' and `Tifblue' flowers produced adequate fruit set (≥50%) over a period of 7 and 5 days, respectively. In `Tifblue', fruit set was limited by the low receptivity of newly opened flowers. The difference in EPP helps to explain the performance of these cultivars in the field. The rate of ripening increased with flower age in both cultivars. The number of seeds per berry was affected by flower age only in `Tifblue'. The effect of flower age on berry weight depended on the cultivar and the pollen source.