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Joseph M. Kemble and Randolph G. Gardner

Abbreviations: FMP, fruit maturation period; SFM, shortened fruit maturation. 1 Graduate Research Assistant. 2 Professor. Current address: Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Center, 2016 Fanning Bridge Rd. Fletcher, NC 28732-9629. This research

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T.G. Beckman, W.R. Okie, and S.C. Meyers

Rootstock influence on bloom date and fruit maturation of `Redhaven' peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] was studied over a 3-year period. Rootstock included seedlings (Lovell, Halford, Bailey, and Siberian C) and cuttings (GF677, GF655.2, Damas 1869, and `Redhaven'). Bloom dates of the various combinations differed in all 3 years, with a range of 3.6, 9.1, and 7.3 days in 1988, 1989, and 1990, respectively. Fruit development period differed each year with a range of 3.9, 5.8, and 4.4 days in 1988, 1989, and 1990, respectively. `Weighted-average harvest date also differed with a range of 3.6,2.9, and 5.6 days in 1988, 1989, and 1990, respectively. `Redhaven'/Lovell was the latest blooming and maturing combination in all 3 years of the study.

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Satoru Kondo, Wanvisa Ponrod, Sirichai Kanlayanarat, and Nobuhiro Hirai

Endogenous abscisic acid (ABA), its 2-trans isomer (trans-ABA), phaseic acid (PA), and dihydrophaseic acid (DPA) concentrations were quantified in the peel, aril, and seed of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana L.). Changes in carbon dioxide (CO2) and ethylene (C2H4) production and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) concentration in the peel and aril were also examined. ACC concentration and CO2 and C2H4 production were high at the beginning of fruit development and gradually decreased toward harvest, which confirms that mangosteen is a nonclimacteric fruit. In the peel and aril, the increase in ABA concentration preceded the decrease in peel firmness and coloring of the peel. This suggests that ABA may induce the maturation of mangosteens. The state of ABA metabolism varied with the part of fruit. In the peel, PA and DPA were not considered to be predominant metabolites of ABA because their concentrations were low compared to ABA throughout fruit development. In contrast, in the aril and seed, it is possible that the PA-DPA pathway may be a main pathway of ABA metabolism because the concentrations of DPA in the aril and of PA in the seed directly coincided with the concentrations of ABA. The differences in the ABA metabolites between aril and seed may be caused by the rate of ABA metabolism. The concentrations of ABA and its metabolite in the seed decreased toward harvest.

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Torrance R. Schmidt, Don C. Elfving, James R. McFerson, and Matthew D. Whiting

effects of GA on apple fruit present during treatment (i.e., current season fruit). In sweet cherry ( Prunus avium ), GA 3 can delay fruit maturation ( Proebsting, 1972 ). The Pacific northwestern U.S. industry widely uses 10 to 20 mg·L −1 to increase

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Joseph. M. Kemble and Randolph G. Gardner

Experiments were conducted in 1989 to determine the heritability of shortened fruit maturation (SFM) period in 871213-1, an inbred cherry tomato line (Lycopersicon esculentum var. cerasiforme (Dunal.) A. Gray), and to determine the relationship between this trait and fruit size. In the first study, a cross was made between 871213-1 and NC 21C-1, an inbred cherry line. NC 21C-1 had a mean maturation period of 40.8 days compared to 32.0 days for 871213-1. A mean maturation period for the F1 hybrid of 32.9 days and 32.2 days was found using 871213-1 as the female and male parent, respectively. Analysis of the data from parental, F1, F2 and backcross generations yielded estimates of broad-sense and narrow-sense heritabilities for SFM as 0.72 and 0.56, respectively. Further analysis indicated that genetic control of SFM was quantitative in nature and highly dominant. A test for epistatic interaction showed significance. In the second study, an F2 population from the cross 871213-1 x NC 309-1, a large-fruited tomato line (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), was evaluated to determine if any correlations existed between fruit size and SFM. Two fruit characteristics, locule number and fruit weight, were used as estimates of fruit size. Correlations between SFM and these two characteristics were +0.28 and +0.61, respectively. Broad-sense heritability of SFM was estimated as 0.64.

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Gene E. Lester

Plasma membrane (PM) from hypodermal-mesocarp tissues of muskmelon fruits (Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus Naud.) were compared to the electrolyte leakage changes of the same tissue during maturation and storage at 4 or 24C. During fruit maturity and storage, leakage of the hypodermal-mesocarp tissue increased, which is coincident with increased total sterol: total phospholipid ratios and increased phospholipid fatty acid saturation index of the PM. ATPase activity, a marker for the PM, indicated that the PM increased in buoyant density from 1.13 to 1.14 during maturity and ATPase activity peaked with fruit maturation. ATPase activity decreased with 10 days postharvest storage and was less at 24C vs. 4C, which was coincident with increased hypodermal-mesocarp electrolyte leakage. Biochemical changes within the sterol and phospholipid matrix of the PM are suggested to contain the processes capable of altering fruit membrane permeability and subsequent muskmelon fruit storage life.

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Gene Lester and Eduardo Stein

Changes in the physical and chemical properties of the plasma membrane from hypodermal mesocarp tissue of netted muskmelon (Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus Naud.) fruit were compared in relation to the permeability changes of the same tissue during fruit maturation and storage at 4 or 24C. As muskmelon fruit progress from immaturity to maturity, and with storage of mature fruit at 4 or 24C, increased permeability of the hypodermal-mesocarp tissue occurs coincident with an increase in the saturation index of the plasma membrane phospholipids. Buoyant density of the plasma membrane from hypodermal mesocarp tissue increased from 1.13 to 1.14 g·cm-3 during fruit maturation. Vanadate-sensitive ATPase (EC activity was highest in mature fruit at harvest. After 10 days of storage, vanadate-sensitive ATPase activity was much lower in fruit kept at 24C than in those kept at 4C. The decrease in vanadate-sensitive ATPase activity in fruit stored at 24C was correlated with increased hypodermal-mesocarp membrane permeability. We suggest that biochemical changes affecting the lipid matrix of the plasma membrane influence fruit membrane permeability and possibly muskmelon storage life.

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Lili Zhou, Ching-Cheng Chen, Ray Ming, David A. Christopher, and Robert E. Paull

An invertase gene was isolated and its mRNA activity and protein levels were determined during papaya (Carica papaya L.) fruit development. A complete invertase cDNA (AF420223) and a partial sucrose synthase cDNA (AF420224) were isolated from papaya fruit cDNA libraries. The invertase cDNA encoded a predicted polypeptide of 582 residues (MW 65,537 Da), and was 68% and 45% identical with carrot apoplastic and vacuolar invertases, respectively. Key amino acids indicative of an apoplastic invertase were conserved. A full-length gene corresponding to the putative apoplastic invertase cDNA was isolated and was organized into seven exons and six introns. Exon 2 (9 bp long) encoded part of a highly conserved region (NDPNG/A). Invertase mRNA and activity levels increased during fruit maturation and sugar accumulation just before ripening. In contrast, sucrose synthase mRNA levels were high during early fruit growth and low during the fruit sugar accumulation stage. A 73-kDa cell wall extractable protein that cross-reacted with carrot apoplastic invertase antisera substantially increased during papaya fruit maturation and declined in full ripe fruit. The increase in invertase protein levels occurred 2 to 4 weeks before maturity and was markedly higher than the overall increase in enzyme activity at this stage. Subsequently, the increase in enzyme activity was higher than the increase in protein levels between 2 weeks before maturity and fully ripe. The results suggested that mRNA level and invertase activity were related to maturity. The data suggested that the invertase was apoplastic, and that post-translational control of enzyme activity occurred, in which a significant accumulation of invertase occurred before the peak of enzymes activity.

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J.P. Mattheis, D.A. Buchanan, and J.K. Fellman

Quantitative and qualitative changes in net production of volatile compounds by apples occurs during fruit development with a major transition to ester production occurring as fruit ripening begins. Ester production during fruit ripening is an ethylene-mediated response; however, differences in maturation patterns among apple cultivars led us to examine the relationship between ester production and onset of the ethylene climacteric in several commercial apple cultivars. Emission of volatile esters as a function of apple fruit development was evaluated for `Royal Gala', `Bisbee Delicious', `Granny Smith', and `Fuji' apple fruit during two harvest seasons. Apples were harvested weekly and analyses of harvest maturity were performed the day after harvest. Non-ethylene volatiles were collected from intact fruit using dynamic headspace sampling onto Tenax traps. Fruit from each harvest was stored at 1°C in air for 5 months (3 months for `Royal Gala') plus 7 days ripening at 20°C, then apples were evaluated for the development of disorders. The transition to ester production occurred after internal ethylene exceeded 0.1 μL for `Royal Gala', `Bisbee Delicious', and `Fuji'. Ester emission by `Granny Smith' apples remained low throughout the harvest period. Increased ester emission occurred after the optimum harvest date (as determined by the starch index and internal ethylene concentration) for controlled-atmosphere storage of `Bisbee Delicious' and prior to optimum maturity for `Royal Gala' and `Fuji'. A relationship between the potential for development of superficial scald and ester production at harvest was evident only for `Bisbee Delicious' apples.

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Jun Song, Weimin Deng, Randolph M. Beaudry, and Paul R. Armstrong

Trends in chlorophyll fluorescence for `Starking Delicious', `Golden Delicious' and `Law Rome' apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) fruit were examined during the harvest season, during refrigerated-air (RA) storage at 0 °C, following RA and controlled-atmosphere (CA) storage, and during a poststorage holding period at 22 °C. Fluorescence parameters of minimal fluorescence (Fo), maximal fluorescence (Fm), and quantum yield [(Fm-Fo)/Fm, otherwise denoted as Fv/Fm] were measured. During `Starking Delicious' fruit maturation and ripening, Fv/Fm declined with time, with the rate of decline increasing after the ethylene climacteric. During RA storage, all fluorescence parameters remained constant for approximately 2 weeks, then steadily declined with time for `Starking Delicious' fruit. Superficial scald was detected after Fv/Fm had declined from an initial value of 0.78 to ≈0.7. Fv/Fm was consistently higher for CA-stored fruits than for RA-stored fruits. We were able to resegregate combined populations of “high-quality” (CA) and “low-quality” (RA) `Law Rome' fruit with 75% accuracy using a threshold Fv/Fm value of 0.685, with only 5% RA-stored fruit incorrectly identified as being of high quality. During a poststorage holding period, Fo, Fm, and Fv/Fm correlated well with firmness for `Starking Delicious', but not for `Golden Delicious' fruit, which were already soft. Fo and Fm were linearly correlated with hue angle for 'Golden Delicious' fruit, decreasing as yellowness increased. The accuracy, speed of assessment, and light-based nature of fluorescence suggests that it may have some practical use as a criterion to assist in sorting apple or other chlorophyll-containing fruit or vegetables on commercial packing lines.