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David Garner, Carlos H. Crisosto, and Eric Otieza

`Snow King' peaches (Prunus persica) harvested at commercial maturity were subjected to different carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) atmosphere combinations for a 2-week simulated transportation [0 °C (32 °F)] period after 1 week of cold storage in air (0 °C). In 1998, air or 5%, 10%, 15%, or 20% CO2 combined with 3% or 6% O2 were used during shipment. The trial was repeated in 1999, but for this year half of the fruit were treated with a 50 mg·L-1 (ppm) aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) postharvest dip before storage and simulated shipment. In addition, O2 levels during simulated shipment were reduced to 1.5% and 3%. At harvest and after the 2-week simulated shipment, fruit flesh firmness, soluble solids concentration (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), and chilling injury (CI) were evaluated. For both years, there were no significant differences in quality attributes among the different treatments after the simulated shipment period. SSC and TA did not change during 5 days postshipment ripening at 20 °C (68 °F). In 1998 all treatments softened rapidly during the postshipment ripening at 20 °C, and were ready to eat [13 N (1 N = 0.225 lb force)] after 3 days. In 1999, both the high CO2 atmospheres during shipment and the AVG postharvest dip slowed the rate of softening during subsequent ripening at 20 °C. With respect to fruit softening, there was significant interaction between storage atmosphere and AVG treatment. AVG-treated fruit shipped under a 20% CO2 + 3% O2 atmosphere did not soften to the transfer point (firmness = 27 N) within our 5-day ripening period, while fruit not treated with AVG and shipped under the same atmosphere softened to the transfer point in 3 days. Control fruit (no AVG + air shipment) softened to the transfer point in 2 days. Our previous work found that when white flesh peaches soften to less than 27 N firmness they become very susceptible to impact bruise injury during retail distribution. We call this critical level of fruit flesh firmness the transfer point. Symptoms of CI, low O2, or high CO2 injury were not observed in any treatment in either year.

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E. Chalutz and G Felsenstein

Abstract

We discuss criteria for the design of cold storage facilities for use in research. Factors considered are: determination of the desired accuracy of temperature and relative humidity control, methods of air circulation and fresh air introduction.

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Mariya V. Khodakovskaya, Richard J. McAvoy*, Hao Wu, and Yi Li

It has been reported that constitutive expression of the fatty acid desaturase enzyme increased the trienoic fatty acid content of thylakoid membranes in transgenic tobacco, allowing the membranes to remain fluid under cold conditions. While increased cold tolerance resulted from this genetic modification, plants with a constitutively expressed desaturase enzyme would not be particularly well suited for growth under warm temperatures. To increase the ability of plants to tolerate prolonged cold-storage and still perform under greenhouse production conditions (25 °C), a unique cold-inducible genetic construct was cloned and tested. The FAD7 gene, which encodes an omega-3-fatty acid desaturase enzyme, was put under the control of a cold-inducible promoter (cor15a) from Arabidopsis thaliana. Transgenic petunia plants (cv, Marco Polo Odyssey) harboring cor15a:FAD7 were established and conformed by PCR and Southern analysis. Therefore in our study, FAD7 gene expression was induced by exposure to cold temperatures and down regulated under normal growing conditions. RT-PCR indicated a marked increase in FAD7 expression between transgenic plants exposed to a short (3 days) cold treatment prior to long-term cold storage and those that did not receive a cold induction treatment. Transgenic and wild-type plants were induced in cold (3 °C) for 3 days, returned for normal greenhouse conditions for 5 days and then subjected 3 weeks of continuous cold storage. It was observed that two out of eight transgenic lines showed superior cold tolerance relative to wild-type petunia plants. Additionally, plants that showed cold tolerance completely recovered; growing and flowering normally when returned to the 25 °C greenhouse conditions.

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Chaim Frenkel and M. E. Patterson

Abstract

‘Bartlett’ pears (Pyrus communis L.) were kept in cold storage in air, and at CO2 concentrations of 5, 10, 15, and 20%. The mitochondrial fraction from the fruit pulp was extracted periodically, made into acetone powder and assayed for activity of succinic dehydrogenase. Progressive decreases in activity of the enzyme were observed with increases in CO2 concentration in the storage atmosphere.

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M.R. Pooler and P.W. Simon

The effects of cold storage, photoperiod, and growth temperature on flowering incidence in four clones of garlic (Allium sativum L.) were studied. While flowering percentage was influenced most by clone, interactions with photoperiod, growth temperature, and storage occurred. Clone R81 flowered equally well in all conditions, whereas flowering percentage of clones D129, D130, and PI485592 was reduced by cold (4C) storage of either bulbs or plants, long (16-h) photoperiod, and at 18C relative to 10C. The highest flowering percentage in all garlic clones was achieved by growing plants at 10C under short (9- to 10-h) photoperiod with no cold storage of bulbs before planting.

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Douglas V. Shaw, Thomas R. Gordon, and Kirk D. Larson

Strawberry runner plants from the cultivar `Selva' (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) were produced using three nursery treatments in each of three years: propagation in soil fumigated with a mixture of 2 methyl bromide: 1 chloropicrin (w/w) at 392 kg·ha-1, propagation in fumigated soil but using planting stock inoculated prior to nursery establishment with a conidial suspension of Verticillium dahliae (106 conidia/mL), and propagation in nonfumigated soil naturally infested with V. dahliae. Runner plants were harvested and stored at 1 °C for 6, 18, or 34 days prior to establishment in fruit production trials. No significant differences were found between runner plants grown in naturally infested soil and runner plants obtained from artificially inoculated mother plants for V. dahliae infection rates detected by petiole isolation immediately prior to transplanting, the percentage of plants visibly stunted due to disease during the following production season, and seasonal yield compared with corresponding noninfected controls. Cold storage of runner plants for 18 or 34 days, produced using either natural or artificial inoculation systems, reduced the initial percentage of infected plants by 42% to 61% and the percentage of stunted plants during the following fruit production season by 43% to 57%, compared with plants from corresponding nursery treatments given only 6 days post-nursery cold storage. Yields for inoculated plants with 6 days cold storage were 16% to 20% less than those for uninoculated controls, whereas yields for inoculated plants with 18 or 34 days of storage were 3% to 9% less than the respective controls. Most of the cold storage effects on initial infection rate, stunting, and yield were realized at the 18 days of storage treatment. A reduction in the fraction of V. dahliae infected plants due to cold storage, suggests either a direct effect of cold storage on the disease organism or stimulation of secondary resistance mechanisms in the plant. Chemical name used: trichloronitromethane (chloropicrin).

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I. Tayfun Agar, William V. Biasi, and Elizabeth J. Mitcham

Ripening behavior of `Bartlett' pears (Pyrus communis L.), with or without ethylene (C2H4) treatment, was assessed at harvest, and after 2, 4, 6 and 12 weeks of cold storage at –1 °C. Fruit exhibited increasing rates of C2H4 production and consequently faster ripening rates with increased length of cold storage. Ripening characteristics were influenced by storage duration, but to different degrees. The data indicate that the threshold C2H4 concentration for softening may be lower than that for color change from green to yellow. Ethylene treatment for 24 h at harvest resulted in a rate of ripening equivalent to that following cold storage for 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the orchard location. Storage for 12 weeks significantly increased C2H4 production upon transfer to ambient temperature, indicating that fruit were reaching the end of their storage life. `Bartlett' pears may ripen to a firmness of 14 N (ready to eat) at 20 °C within 2.5 to 7 days depending upon the duration of prior cold storage.

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Federica Galli, Douglas D. Archbold, and Kirk W. Pomper

Poster Session 52—Postharvest Storage 21 July 2005, 1:15–2:00 p.m. Poster Hall–Ballroom E/F

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C.D. Grote-Flores, G.V. Latigo, J.O. Bradford, and J.O. Kuti

Guayule shrub (Parthenium argentatum Gray) is a source of natural rubber resin and latex. Because guayule does not produce natural antioxidants, considerable amounts of rubber and resin are lost after harvest. The effect of long (2–7 years) cold storage on postharvest stability of rubber and resin contents in selected dryland guayule breeding lines were compared. While most genotypes tested showed significant decline in rubber and/or resin content during the storage, few genotypes consistently maintained or increased the amounts of rubber or resin content during storage. The mechanisms of postharvest degradation or synthesis of rubber and resin in harvested guayule plant materials need to be studied further.

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George J. Wulster and Thomas J. Gianfagna

Growth and flowering of Freesia hybrida Bailey for the container-plant market can be controlled chemically using growth retardants and environmentally by cold storage of corms at 5C for 2 to 6 weeks before planting. Corms stored at 5C for 4 weeks flowered 20 days earlier than corms not stored at 5C. Preplant 5C storage of corms also reduced leaf and flower height. An ancymidol soil drench (3 mg) reduced leaf height and flower height by more than 50% and delayed flowering by 9 days. Combining growth regulator application with cold storage of corms produced the greatest reduction in leaf height and flower height. Moreover, plants flowered earlier than controls when corms were stored for at least 4 weeks, regardless of growth regulator treatment. Chemical name used: α-cyclopropyl-α- (4-methoxyphenyl) -5-pyrimidine methanol (ancymidol).