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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).

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D.J. Makus

A reflectant particle film material, `Surround', which also has biocide properties, and mycorrhizal root inoculation of tomatoes at transplanting were evaluated for their efficacy in improving tomato plant water status and agronomic performance in a supra-optimal, semi-arid environment. Seven-week-old `Heatmaster' tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were transplanted with or without a VAM inoculant (Gomes intaradices, Schenk & Smith) on 19 Feb. 1999 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 `Surround.' The trickle-irrigated plots were 5.6 m2 in size and treatments replicated four times in a RCB design. Recommended cultural practices were followed, but no fungicides were used. Results indicated that mycorrhizal treatment tended to accelerate fruit maturation and that particle film applications delayed fruit development relative to the control treatment. Mycorrhizal-treated plants had the highest yields at the second (of eight) harvest 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 effected by any treatment. When fruits were sectioned into proximal and distal halves, 10 out of 14 nutrients measured, in addition to dry matter, and total carotenoids were higher in the distal end.

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Charles F. Forney and Willy Kalt

The aroma of fresh strawberries is composed of a mixture of volatile compounds with no single compound responsible for the characteristic strawberry aroma. Volatiles produced in strawberries are predominately esters, although alcohols, ketones, and aldehydes are also present in smaller quantities. The major volatiles contributing to aroma include ethyl butanoate, 2,5-dimethyl-4-hydroxy-3(2H)-furanone, ethyl hexanoate, methyl butanoate, linalool, and methyl hexanoate. There are qualitative and quantitative differences in volatile composition between cultivars. Headspace concentration of volatiles from 5 cultivars were 0.4, 1.7, 5.6, 5.8, and 14.3 mol·m–3 for `Honeoye', `Cavendish', `Micmac', `Kent', and `Annapolis', respectively. During fruit maturation on the plant, aroma volatile synthesis coincides with color formation, and continues to increase until the fruit is over-ripe. Volatile concentration increases about 4-fold in the 24-hr period required for fruit to ripen from 50% red to fully red on the plant. Volatile composition continues to change after harvest and is affected by storage temperature, atmosphere composition, and light. The concentration of ethyl esters increases while methyl esters remain constant in fruit held at 0°C, but, when fruit are warmed to 15°C, the reverse is true. Holding strawberries in 10 to 20 kPa of CO2 may increase concentrations of ethyl esters in the fruit. Light increases the production of volatiles in stored strawberries. Methods to control strawberry aroma will be discussed.

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Paola S. Cotroneo, Maria P. Russo, Manuela Ciuni, Giuseppe Reforgiato Recupero, and Angela R. Lo Piero

Genes encoding chalcone synthase (CHS), anthocyanidin synthase (ANS), and UDP-glucose-flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase (UFGT), some of the enzymes of anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway, were assayed in two different experiments using quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR, in order to test their transcription levels in the flesh of blood and common orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] fruit, and to investigate their role in anthocyanin accumulation in the same tissue. The first experiment compared a blood orange and a common orange cultivar during seven different fruit maturation stages. This was followed by the test of 11 different genotypes at the end of the winter season. Data collected from the first experiment, over the blood orange cultivar, were statistically analyzed using the Pearson correlation coefficient. Results show that CHS, ANS, and UFGT mRNA transcripts are up- and co-regulated in the blood orange cultivar, whereas they are down-regulated in the common orange cultivar. There is evidence of correspondence between the target genes expression level and the content of the pigment assessed. The second test confirms this correlation and shows that enzyme synthesis levels and pigment accumulation, in plants grown under the same environmental conditions, are dependent on the differences occurring among the genotypes tested. These results suggest that the absence of pigment in the common orange cultivars may be caused by the lack of induction on the structural genes expression. This is the first report on the characterization of the relationships between biosynthetic genes expression and fruit flesh anthocyanin content in blood oranges.

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Ofosu-Anim John and Shohei Yamaki

Using the compartmental analysis method, the distribution of sucrose, glucose, and fructose and their efflux from the free space, cytoplasm, and vacuole were determined in Nyoho strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) picked 25 or 35 days after pollination (DAP). At both stages, >70% of total sugar accumulated in the vacuole. Concentration of sugar in the free space increased from 167 mm in fruit at 25 DAP to 217 mm at 35 DAP, whereas that within the cell (cytoplasm + vacuole) increased from 233 to 352 mm. Permeability of the plasma membrane to sucrose, glucose, and fructose was higher than that of the tonoplast and, except for that of fructose, the permeability of the plasma membrane to sugars increased with fruit maturation. ABA at 10-5 m compared to 10-4 m restricted the release of all sugars from fruit discs and was due mainly to reduced efflux across the plasma membrane rather than the tonoplast. Thus ABA may stimulate the accumulation of sugars in fruit flesh by restricting their efflux. Chemical name used: abscisic acid (ABA).

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Dan D. MacLean and D. Scott NeSmith

A postharvest 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) treatment was evaluated for its ability to maintain firmness and delay the ripening of rabbiteye blueberries. Three cultivars, Austin, Brightwell, and Premier, were harvested by hand from the UGA Alapaha Blueberry Farm and treated overnight with 1 μL·L−1 1-MCP as field heat was being removed [0 to 1 °C, 90% to 95% relative humidity (RH)]. Fruit were evaluated for firmness, total soluble solids (TSS), total acidity (TA), ethylene production, and other quality attributes at 0, 1, and 2 weeks after harvest as well as 1 or 4 days post-removal evaluations at room temperature (≈21 °C). In general, the 1-MCP treatment resulted in the stimulation of ethylene production in all three cultivars but had minimal effect on TSS and TA content. Furthermore, the treatment resulted in an accelerated loss of firmness in ‘Brightwell’. The lack of inhibition of fruit ripening likely related to the fact that blueberries were harvested, and subsequently treated with 1-MCP, at a post-climacteric stage of development. Based on current results, more information is required regarding ethylene production during rabbiteye blueberry fruit maturation before establishing a 1-MCP treatment recommendation for use by the rabbiteye blueberry industry.