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Esmaeil Fallahi and Duane W. Greene

Effects of various combinations of NAA-800 and Retain on fruit retention, yield, and harvest and post-storage fruit quality of `Rome Beauty' and `Delicious' apples were studied over one to three seasons. Retain and NAA-800 often reduced preharvest fruit drop as compared to control. Fruit from trees that received Retain at 123.6 g a.i./ha, or 61.8 g a.i./ha plus NAA-800 showed lower starch degradation pattern (SDP) at harvest and higher firmness. Retain treated fruit had lower evolved ethylene and respiration. Application of Retain at 61.8 g a.i./ha plus NAA-800 delayed fruit maturity, and the effects on fruit quality at harvest was comparable to the effects of this chemical at 123.6 g. a.i./ha. However, after storage, fruits from trees receiving Retain at 123.6 g a.i./ha often were firmer. Split applications of NAA-800 did not show major improvement in delaying fruit maturity over a single application. Application of NAA-800 at 585 mL/ha tended to reduce fruit firmness and increase fruit SDP. These fruits some times tended to have better color. Results on fruit color varied from year to year.

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M.D. White, D.S. Tustin, K.F. Foote, R.K. Volz, J. Stokes, J. Campbell, R. Marshall, and C. Howard

ReTain™ is a plant bioregulator containing the active ingredient aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG), which inhibits the ethylene biosynthesis pathway. In 1997, the first efficacy studies on `Royal Gala' apple with ReTain™ were conducted under New Zealand conditions in Hawkes Bay. ReTain™ was applied 4 weeks before the anticipated start of harvest on `Royal Gala' at 850 and 1700 g·ha–1 with or without adjuvants. ReTain™ application delayed the onset of `Royal Gala' fruit maturation between 1 and 2 weeks, resulting in enhanced fruit size and fruit flesh firmness at harvest. The optimum response for delaying the onset of fruit maturation was achieved using ReTain™ at 850 g·ha–1 if applied in combination with a wetter. Fruit were also graded for fruit quality and air-stored at 0.5 °C. Fruit after 10 weeks of storage showed no difference in fruit flesh firmness, but all ReTain™ treatments had fruit with less yellow background colour compared with untreated fruit. In 1998, efficacy studies were undertaken in three geographical locations on `Royal Gala'. ReTain™ was applied at a rate of 830 g·ha–1 in combination with Silwet L-77 at 0.1%. All trees with the exception of `Royal Gala' grown in the Hawkes Bay had not received any ReTain™ previously. In all regions, seasonal changes in background color and starch pattern index were delayed by ReTain™ treatment. A concurrent delay of an increase in soluble solids concentration and retention of higher flesh firmness were also induced by ReTain™ treatment.

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Duane W. Greene

AVG was applied as the ReTain formulation over three harvest seasons to determine the influence of time of application on drop control efficacy and its influence on fruit maturity of 'McIntosh' apples. Effective drop control was achieved through the commercial harvest season with application of AVG made from 1 to 6 weeks before the anticipated start of harvest for untreated fruit. Drop control extended beyond the normal harvest period when application was made either 2 weeks or 1 week before anticipated harvest. Application made between 6 and 4 weeks before anticipated harvest generally delayed parameters associated with ripening, such as softening, degradation of starch, and development of red color, more than applications made on later dates. While AVG consistently and effectively retarded abscission, the length of time it controlled drop varied from year to year, even when used on similar trees in the same block. Once applied, it required 10 to 14 days before AVG started to retard fruit abscission. AVG controlled drop linearly with increasing concentration. AVG was a superior drop control compound than NAA. Chemical names used: aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG), naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA).

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James M. Wargo, Ian A. Merwin, and Christopher B. Watkins

`Jonagold' apples [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] often fail to develop adequate red coloration at maturity and become soft and greasy in storage. During two growing seasons, we tested factorial combinations of three preharvest treatments affecting `Jonagold' quality at harvest and after storage: 1) three nitrogen (N) treatments [36 kg·ha-1 soil applied N, 6.9 kg·ha-1 of urea-N (1% w/v) in foliar sprays mid-May and June, or no N fertilizers]; 2) trunk girdling in early August each year; and 3) foliar applications of aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG, formulated as ReTain) 3 weeks before the first scheduled harvest. Fruit were sampled at four weekly intervals each year and evaluated for maturity and quality at harvest and after storage. Foliar urea and soil-applied N delayed red color development in 1998 but not 1999, increased fruit size in girdled and nonAVG treated trees in both years, and increased greasiness in 1999 only. AVG reduced fruit greasiness after storage both years. Nitrogen uptake was reduced in the dry Summer 1999, but N treatments still increased poststorage flesh breakdown. Mid-summer trunk girdling increased red coloration and intensity both years and improved market-grade packout. This effect was not caused by advanced maturity, although trunk girdling slightly increased skin greasiness. Girdling reduced fruit size only on trees of low N status. The AVG applications delayed maturity and red color development by 7 to 10 days in both years compared with untreated fruit. In 1998, the combination of AVG and N fertilization delayed red color development more than either treatment alone. Fruit softening and greasiness were reduced in AVG-treated fruit harvested at the same time as untreated fruit, but this effect was not observed when AVG treated fruit were harvested at comparable maturity 7 to 10 days later. Trunk girdling and withholding N fertilizer were the best treatments for enhancing red coloration, and foliar N concentrations of ≈2.0% (W/W) resulted in better packouts compared with higher leaf N levels. AVG was an effective tool for delaying fruit maturity and maintaining fruit quality awaiting harvest, but not for improving red coloration of `Jonagold' apples.

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C.R. Unrath, J.D. Obermiller, A. Green, and S.J. McArtney

aminoethoxyvinlyglycine (AVG; Retain; Valent BioSciences, Libertyville, IL) to delay drop. Holding fruit on the tree beyond the normal harvest date may also increase crop value due to an increase in fruit size (yield) and improvement in red color development. Byers and

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Marisa Y. Thompson, Jennifer Randall, Richard J. Heerema, and Dawn VanLeeuwen

(2x) of GA 3 (ProGibb 4% at 100 mg a.i./L) plus surfactant and the ethylene inhibitor AVG (ReTain at 0.88 g·L −1 ; Valent BioSciences Corp., Libertyville, IL) plus surfactant. In each tree and in each year, sun-exposed lateral shoots were tagged and

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Barbara M. Reed, Sara Schwanke, and Rebecca Shala

Cryopreservation in liquid nitrogen (LN) is relatively routine for many small, desiccation-tolerant (orthodox) seeds. Seeds of Pyrus species are considered orthodox but have not been evaluated for LN storage. Seeds of freshly collected P. communis L. (`Bosc') were evaluated for germinability and by TZ staining after exposure to four LN treatments: 1) direct immersion and direct removal; 2) direct immersion and 1 minute in LN vapor phase before removal; 3) 2 minutes in vapor phase before immersion and direct removal; and 4) 2 minutes in vapor phase before immersion and 1 minute in vapor phase before removal. Fresh `Bosc' seed viability evaluated by TZ and greenhouse germination tests remained high (83% to 100%) following four types of LN treatments, compared to the controls (77% to 87%). Differences in `Bosc' seed viability were small and TZ results showed no significant differences among the LN treatments. Direct LN immersion and removal resulted in significantly more greenhouse-germinated `Bosc' seeds than the other treatments and fewer control seeds germinated than any LN treated seeds. Fresh `Bosc' seed cryopreserved at 7.9% moisture exhibited high germinability by both TZ and germination tests. LN exposure caused no physical damage to the seeds. Chemical name used: 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TZ).

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Darrell Sparks and I.E. Yates

In vitro germination of freshly collected pollen and pollen stored 1, 10, 11, 12, and 13 years in liquid nitrogen was examined for `Desirable' pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch]. Viability of pollen stored in liquid nitrogen for 1, 10, 11, 12, and 13 years was not diminished in comparison to that of fresh pollen. Morphology of stored pollen grains and the germ tube was normal. Thus, liquid nitrogen may offer a means of haploid preservation of pecan.

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Sorkel A. Kadir and Ed L. Proebsting

Differential thermal analysis (DTA) was used to measure deep supercooling in flower buds of Prunus dulcis Mill., P. armeniaca L., P. davidiana (Carr.) Franch, P. persica (L.) Batsch, three sweet cherry (P. avium L.) selections, and `Bing' cherries (P. avium L.) during Winter 1990-91 and 1991-92. Low temperatures in Dec. 1990 killed many flower buds. After the freeze, dead flower primordia continued to produce low-temperature exotherms (LTEs) at temperatures near those of living primordia for >2 weeks. In Feb. 1992, cherry buds that had been killed by cooling to -33C again produced LTEs when refrozen the next day. As buds swelled, the median LTE (LTE50) of dead buds increased relative to that of living buds, and the number of dead buds that produced LTEs decreased. LTE artifacts from dead flower priimordia must be recognized when DTA is used to estimate LTE50 of field-collected samples.

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Ed Stover, Michael J. Fargione, Christopher B. Watkins, and Kevin A. Iungerman

`McIntosh' apples (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) display a rapid increase in ethylene production as they ripen, resulting in more preharvest drop and accelerated softening compared with other major cultivars. Economic considerations often dictate a choice between delaying harvest to achieve color development or harvesting earlier to avoid excessive fruit softening and drop. We have evaluated the effects of plant growth regulators (PGRs) and summer pruning on this balance. Treatments were applied to trees in the Mid-Hudson region in New York state in 1995 and 1996, and a subset of treatments was applied in the Champlain Valley region in 1996. NAA, applied at 10 mg·L-1 in 1995 and 20 mg·L-1 in 1996, reduced drop on only one sample date in only one of the three trials. Ethephon at 150 mg·L-1 plus 10 mg·L-1 NAA, accelerated ripening and permitted harvest before substantial drop occurred. However, earlier harvest resulted in smaller fruit size, and if ethephon-treated fruit were not picked within a narrow window, rapid drop ensued, and fruit developed a high senescent breakdown incidence during storage. ReTain, containing AVG, at 124 g·ha-1 a.i. delayed drop in all three trials, but its use resulted in firmer fruit after storage in only two of seven comparisons. Use of ethephon on AVG-treated trees enhanced red color but accelerated drop, although it was reduced less than when ethephon was used alone. Severe late summer pruning accelerated red color development, drop and ripening in both years of the study. AVG was more effective for management of `McIntosh' harvest in the cooler Champlain Valley region than in the Mid-Hudson Valley region. Chemical names used: naphthalene acetic acid (NAA); 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon); aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG).