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Errol W. Hewett and Christopher B. Watkins

The incidence of external and internal bitter pit in `Cox's Orange Pippin' apple (Malus domestics Borkh.) fruit sprayed with normal therapeutic sprays either with or without Ca salts at 2-week intervals during the growing season was determined after 6 weeks of storage over 7 consecutive years. Following harvest, fruit was either vacuum-infiltrated with CaCI2 or received no further treatment. Although there was a tendency for fruit that had been sprayed and vacuum-infiltrated with Ca to exhibit the greatest degree of bitter pit control, this treatment was not significantly superior to Ca sprays alone. Vacuum infiltration alone reduced the disorder to a lesser extent than Ca sprays and was more effective in reducing external than internal bitter bit. The results suggest that Ca applications over the growing season are superior to postharvest vacuum-infiltration with Ca in the prevention of bitter pit.

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Jorge B. Retamales, Claudio Valdes, and Verónica Donoso

Bitter pit (BP) is the main physiological disorder of apples in Chile. Its incidence affects pre- and postharvest handling of the fruit and the profitability of this species. Since 1991, its control and prediction have been studied by this research team through field and laboratory trials. The BP incidence is linked to the fruit Ca concentration; however, fruit Ca analysis has not adequately predicted BP incidence in postharvest. Several authors have proposed Ca/Mg antagonism, which has been the basis to develop a predictive method through fruit Mg infiltration (IMG) 40 days before harvest. IMG has been massively used for two seasons in Chile, with 375 samples processed in 1997 and 1170 in 1998. The industry has been increasing its proportion of the samples processed, from 22% in 1997 to 71% in 1998. The most prominent varieties are `Granny Smith' (GS) > `Braeburn' (BR) > `Royal Gala' (RG) > `Red King Oregon' (RKO). The massive use of IMG has obtained predictive capacities (r 2 between BP predicted and BP after 3 months regular cold storage) of 0.8 for `Fuji'; 0.7 for GS, BR, and RG; and 0.58 for RKO. (This reduction in the predictive capacity with regards to the previous research under controlled conditions would, in part, be due to problems in obtaining fruit samples: non-uniform fruit size, inadequate sampling dates, diverse fruit numbers, etc.) Developments are underway to increase the geographical coverage of the service, the predictive capacity of the method for certain cultivars and productive areas and the number of samples processed.

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Sergio Lopez-Cuevas and Terence Robinson

A factorial field experiment was conducted at the New York State Agricultural Experimental Station in Geneva, N.Y., during 2004 and 2005 with `Honeycrisp' apple trees on M.9 rootstock. The main plot factors were three levels of applied nitrogen (0 kg/ha, 50 k/ha, and 100 k/ha); three levels of applied K2O (0 k/ha, 100 kg/ha, and 200 kg/ha); ± foliar nutrient sprays containing N, B, Zn, and Mg, ± foliar sprays of CaCl2 and ± trickle irrigation. The subplot factor was cropload (3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 fruits/cm2 TCA). Trees receiving irrigation or potassium had higher yields and the effect was greater as cropload was increased. There was no effect of nitrogen fertilization, foliar Ca, and foliar N, B, Zn, and Mg on yield. Irrigation and increased potassium fertilization rate reduced fruit soluble solids at harvest. Foliar calcium applications, foliar N, B, Zn, and Mg applications, and nitrogen fertilization rate did not affect fruit soluble solids at harvest. No treatment factor had an effect on fruit firmness at harvest, but, after 4 months on cold storage, fruits from irrigated trees had greater firmness. Bitter pit incidence was lower on apples from trees that did not receive irrigation compared to irrigated trees. The difference was constant under all cropload levels. Foliar calcium applications, foliar N, B, Zn, and Mg applications, nitrogen fertilization rate and potassium fertilization rate did not affect bitter pit incidence.

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Jorge B. Retamales and Claudio Valdes

Bitter pit is the most important physiological disorders for apples in Chile. During the 1995–96 season, the predictive capacity of bitter pit through magnesium infiltration of the fruit in commercial orchards of three locations in South Central Chile: San Fernando (SF), Curico (CU), and San Javier (SJ) was established. Three orchards were chosen in each location and for each cultivar; fruit were collected 60, 40, and 20 days before commercial harvest. Fruit were infiltrated for 2 min with magnesium chloride at 0.05 M using vacuum levels of 500 or 100 mm Hg for `Granny Smith' and `Braeburn', respectively. The predictive capacity (correlation between predicted and effective bitter pit—after 90 days at 2°C + 10 days at 18°C) increased closer to harvest; with regards to location: SF > CU > SJ. Bitter pit-like symptoms, caused by Mg infiltration stabilized 16 days after infiltration. Bitter pit incidence was better predicted than severity. Bitter pit was better predicted for `Granny Smith' than for `Braeburn'.

Open access

Raquel Gomez and Lee Kalcsits

premium economic returns for growers ( Gallardo et al., 2015 ). Despite its popularity, ‘Honeycrisp’ is difficult to grow because it is susceptible to physiological disorders like bitter pit and sunburn ( Luby and Bedford, 1992 ). ‘WA 38’ is a new cultivar

Open access

Nadia A. Valverdi and Lee Kalcsits

( Gallardo et al., 2015 ; Serban, 2018 ). ‘Honeycrisp’ is challenging to grow because of its high susceptibility to physiological disorders such as bitter pit, which normally causes losses of ≈20%, but which can be up to 75% in extreme cases ( Cheng and Sazo

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Juan Pablo Zoffoli, Valentina Sanguedolce, Paulina Naranjo, and Carolina Contreras

‘Granny Smith’ is the most common green apple cultivar in the world. However, it is highly susceptible to physiological disorders such as superficial scald and bitter pit ( Mitcham et al., 1996 ). These disorders reduce the effective storage time

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Yosef Al Shoffe and Christopher B. Watkins

challenging for storage operators. At low temperatures around 33 °F, the cultivar can develop symptoms of chilling injury (CI) such as soft scald and soggy breakdown, whereas at a higher temperature of 38 °F the fruit can be susceptible to bitter pit

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Renae E. Moran, Jennifer R. DeEll, and Dennis P. Murr

in 2002 to 2005 and 2 to 3 months in 2006 and 2007. Occurrence of soft scald, soggy breakdown, and bitter pit was measured 7 d after removal from cold storage in 2002 through 2005 and 1 d after in subsequent years. Soft scald was defined as external

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Carl J. Rosen, Peter M. Bierman, Adriana Telias, and Emily E. Hoover

Application of calcium (Ca) sprays is a recommended practice to reduce the incidence of Ca-related disorders such as bitter pit in apple (Malus ×domestica), but effectiveness of sprays to increase Ca concentrations in the fruit is not always consistent. Strontium (Sr) has been used as a Ca analog to evaluate Ca transport processes and distribution in plants. A field study was conducted using foliar- and fruit-applied Sr as a tracer for Ca transport in 20-year-old `Honeycrisp' apple trees on Malling.26 (M.26) rootstock. The objectives of this study were to 1) measure the amount of Sr translocation from leaves to fruit, 2) determine the effectiveness of eight sprays applied over the growing season vs. four late-season sprays on increasing Sr concentrations in leaves and fruit, and 3) evaluate the effect of an experimental adjuvant consisting of alkyl-polysaccharides and monosaccharides on spray efficacy. Seven treatments were tested, which included a control and six Sr treatments applied in various combinations with or without an adjuvant. Trees were sprayed four or eight times during the growing season, either directly to leaves and fruit or to leaves only (fruit covered during application). Spray treatments did not significantly affect total fruit fresh or dry weight. Although some discrimination between Ca and Sr was detected, the similar distribution of Ca and Sr in fruit tissue of control treatments suggested that Sr is a suitable tracer for Ca. Based on the covered vs. uncovered fruit treatments, about 11% to 17% of the Sr in the fruit came from Sr applied directly to the leaves. Eight spray applications over the growing season more than doubled both the concentration and content of fruit Sr compared with four late season sprays. The tested adjuvant doubled Sr absorption by and translocation to fruit compared with not using an adjuvant. Assuming similar transport for Ca and Sr, and adjusting for the atomic weight of Ca relative to Sr, the maximum increase in fruit Ca concentration at harvest from foliar and fruit applications (eight sprays with adjuvant and uncovered fruit) would have been as follows: core = 78 mg·kg–1; flesh = 35 mg·kg–1; peel = 195 mg·kg–1; entire fruit = 67 mg·kg–1. In addition to being an underused tool for studying Ca transport patterns, the results also suggest that use of Sr may be a novel technique for testing the efficacy of various adjuvants used to enhance uptake and transport of Ca in leaves and fruit.