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A.G. Reynolds, C.G. Edwards, D.A. Wardle, D.R. Webster, and M. Dever

`Riesling' grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) were subjected for 4 years (1987-90) to three shoot densities (16, 26, and 36 shoots/m of row) combined with three crop-thinning levels (1, 1.5, and 2 clusters/shoot) in a factorialized treatment arrangement. Weight of cane prunings per vine (vine size) decreased linearly with increasing shoot density and clusters per shoot. Cane periderm formation (in terms of percent canes per vine with >10 ripened internodes) was inhibited by increased shoot density, while vine winter injury (primarily bud and cordon) increased slightly in a linear fashion with increasing clusters per shoot. Canopy density and leaf area data suggested that fruit clusters were most exposed to sunlight at a shoot density of 26 shoots/m of row due to reduced lateral shoot growth and a trend toward slightly smaller leaves. Yield, clusters per vine, and crop load (yield per kilogram of cane prunings) increased with increasing shoot density and clusters per shoot, while other yield components (cluster weight, berries per cluster, and berry weight) decreased. Soluble solids and pH of berries and juices decreased with increasing shoot density and clusters per shoot, but titratable acidity was not substantially affected. Free volatile terpenes increased in berries and juices in 1989 with increasing shoot density, as did potentially volatile terpenes in 1990. Shoot densities of 16 to 26 shoots/m of row are recommended for low to moderately vigorous `Riesling' vines to achieve economically acceptable yields and high winegrape quality simultaneously.

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Stanley J. Kays, Jason Hatch, and Dong Sik Yang

Selection emphasis on cyme size and flower color of Heliotropium arborescens L. has led to cultivars with diminished floral fragrance. As a preliminary inquiry into the fragrance chemistry of the species, we identified 41 volatile compounds emanating from the flowers of 'Marine' via isolation (Tenax trapping) and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The majority of the volatile compounds emanating from the flowers were terpenes (camphene, p-cymene, δ-3-carene, α-humulene, δ-1-limonene, linalool, (E)-β-ocimene, α-pinene, and β-thujone), benzenoids of which benzaldehyde was the most abundant, aldehydes (decanal, heptanal, nonanal and octanal), and hydrocarbons (decane, heneicosane, heptadecane, hexadecane, nonadecane, nonane, octadecane, tetradecane, tridecane and undecane) along with a cross-section of other compounds. Subsequent identification and quantification of critical ordorants will facilitate selecting new cultivars with quantitative and qualitative improvements in fragrance.

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William C. Mitchell and Gojko Jelenkovic

The NAD-dependent and NADP-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase activities of strawberries (Fragaria xananassa Duch.) were found to have broad substrate specificities including those alcohols and aldehydes responsible for strawberry aroma and flavor either directly or through their ester products. NAD-dependent activities were greatest against short-chained alcohols, whereas the NADP-dependent activities were most active against aromatic and terpene alcohols. Differences were seen in substrate specificity between receptacle and achene alcohol dehydrogenase activities. Alcohol dehydrogenase activities were found to be developmentally regulated in receptacle tissue and increased during the period of fruit maturation and ripening. Isoelectric focusing of NAD-dependent ADH activities showed that several isozymes of this enzyme exist, that they differ between receptacle and achene tissues, and that they vary among specific genotypes. Our results suggest that NAD- and NADP-dependent ADH activities are integral components of flavor and fragrance volatile production in ripening strawberries.

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Patricia A. Sobieck* and Bruce P. Bordelon

Monoterpenes are organic compounds found in high quantities in certain wine grape varieties, such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and muscat-flavored varieties. These compounds exist in free and glycosidic form, and produce the characteristic aromas of such varieties. Traminette, released in 1996 as NY65.0533.13, is a cross between Joannes Seyve 23.416 and Gewürztraminer. This variety may be an alternative to Gewürztraminer in areas where cold temperatures prevent cultivation of such cold-tender varieties. The objective of this study is to determine the extent of which sunlight exposure influences monoterpene production in `Traminette'. Various exposure levels were obtained through synthetic coverings and ambient shading. Fully exposed clusters on a vertically shoot positioned canopy received 55% of ambient light whereas clusters with 50 and 70% shade cloth received 14.7 and 5.3%, respectively. Heavily shaded clusters (3+ leaf layers) received 2% of ambient light, and fully covered clusters received no light from véraison to harvest. Despite large differences in exposure level, cluster temperatures did not differ significantly between treatments. Results of monoterpene quantification show potentially volatile terpene (PVT) levels were 10-fold greater than free volatile terpene (FVT) levels in all treatments. PVT levels differ significantly between exposure groups in all locations at harvest, with exposed fruit having the highest concentration (6.5-7.5 mg L-1). Heavy and moderate shade fruit had 25% lower PVT levels compared to exposed fruit. Fully covered clusters had 34% less PVT, whereas 50 and 70 shade cloth clusters were 20% lower than exposed. Subsequent years of research will further validate preliminary findings of this study.

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Natasha Kovacheva, Krasimir Rusanov, Valtcho Jeliazkov (Zheljazkov), and Nedko Nedkov

Bulgaria is famous for its 330-year-old-tradition in rose oil production, which is based on the Kazanluk rose (Rosa damascena Mill. f. trigintipetala Dieck.). The Bulgarian rose oil (otto) is recognized as the ultimate rose oil. For successful selection and breeding work of oil-bearing roses, information is needed on the variation of morphological and phenological characteristics and essential oil composition of locally available genotypes. We estimated the correlation coefficients between yields and morphological characteristics of 15 genotypes of Bulgarian oil-bearing rose. It was found that rose yields depended mostly on the number of flowers, the number of flower branches per bush, and the weight of individual flowers (r = 0.99, 0.88, and 0.84, respectively). Also, we established correlations between the concentrations of various essential oil constituents of the Bulgarian rose oil. Generally, higher concentration of citronellol + nerol was associated with lower concentration of geraniol and stereo-terpens (r = –0.76 and –0.59, respectively). Also, higher concentration of citronellol + nerol was positively correlated to increased concentration of terpene aldehydes (r = 0.63) and esters (r = 0.48). The geraniol concentration was positively correlated to stearoptenes (r = 0.57). Both morphological characteristics and essential oil constituents should be used for further selection of high-yielding cultivars with desirable essential oil composition.

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Roberto F. Vieira and James E. Simon

To determine the mode of inheritance of citral, linalool, methylchavicol, and methylcinnamate in basil, controlled crosses were made between chemotypes rich in each of these constituents. Four stable Ocimum basilicum populations selected for high methylcinnamate (79%), methylchavicol (95%), linalool (82%), and citral (65%) respectively, served as parents. Crosses were made using chemotypes rich in terpenes (linalool × citral), in phenylpropanoids (methylchavicol × methylcinnamate), and a third that combines chemotypes from both biosynthetic pathways (linalool × methylchavicol). True hybrids were selfed in isolation and one hundred F2 plants were analyzed for their oil composition. The parents, the F1 hybrids and the F2 generation of all plants were evaluated in a field trial under identical environmental conditions. Plants were harvested at full flowering, and dried at 380 °C. Identification of essential oil constituents were confirmed by GC/MS. The F2 segregation data for each major oil constituent trait will be examined by c2 analysis tests. Preliminary results indicate that methylcinnamate segregates in a 3:1 ratio, and is a dominant major gene. In the two crosses using methylcinnamate chemotype as a female parent, the F2 population segregates in 80:22 and 65:28 methylcinnamate:non-methylcinnamate plant types, with P = 0.42 and 0.25 and c2=0.64 and 1.29, respectively. Analysis of the other crosses are being processed, evaluating qualitative and quantitatively the presence or absence of each constituent in their F2 population.

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Zhenyong Wang and David R. Dilley

We are investigating alternative strategies to control scald on apples. Ethanol vapors were applied to `Law Rome' and `Red Delicious' apples in the storage chambers by ventilating air through aqueous solutions of ethanol at different concentrations, and in modified atmosphere packages by adding various initial concentrations of ethanol vapor. Fruits in storage chambers treated with ethanol vapor at 1600 ppm for about 2 months showed no scald when stored for an additional period in air storage whereas the scald index in control was up to 2.33 (the highest is 3). The similar results in the modified atmosphere experiments confirmed that ethanol vapor could prevent apple scald. Ethanol vapor treatment was also correlated with a reduction of α-farnesene production by the fruits. α-farnesene is an isoprenoid metabolite in the pathway to carotenoid synthesis that has been implicated indirectly as a factor in scald development. Evidence for this based on diphenylamine (DPA) reducing the level of a conjugated terpene product of α-farnesene oxidation. Our results suggested that the control of scald by ethanol vapor treatment may be related to the reduction of α-farnesene production and its subsequent oxidation. Ethanol vapor treatment resulted in accumulation of ethanol in the fruits in direct proportion to the ethanol concentration administered and reduced the rate of ethylene production, and the internal ethanol levels dropped rapidly when fruits were returned to air without ethanol vapor.

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Alan Chambers, Pamela Moon, Yuqing Fu, Juliette Choiseul, Jinhe Bai, Anne Plotto, and Elizabeth Baldwin

Fragaria vesca is a diploid strawberry species that produces gourmet, aromatic fruits with only limited commercial production because of its relative obscurity. Most F. vesca research focuses on genetics and fruit aroma, but yield and fruit quality data across diploid accessions are lacking. Sixteen F. vesca accessions were grown in replicated field plots in southern Florida to measure field performance and fruit quality over multiple harvests during a single growing season. Accessions ‘Reine des Vallees’, ‘Baron Solemacher’, ‘Fragolina di Bosco’, and ‘Reugen’ all had significantly higher yield (115–140 g/plot/week) and fruit number (117–139 fruit/plot/week) compared with ‘Bowlenzauber’, ‘Attila’, ‘Ali Baba’, and ‘Pineapple Crush’ (31–57 g/plot/week and 32–60 fruit/plot/week) during peak production. Total average yield ranged from 240 g (‘Pineapple Crush’) to 1194 g (‘Baron Solemacher’) per plot of 10 plants. Fruit number and fruit yield were highly correlated (R 2 = 0.96) for all accessions, and there was no significant difference in fruit weight among accessions through the entire season. Total soluble solids ranged from 10.9 to 13.5 °Brix, and fructose, glucose, sucrose, and total sugars ranged from 15.3 to 22.1, 13.5 to 20.0, 0.1 to 2.7, and 29.7 to 42.5 mg/g, respectively, fresh weight. Acidity ranged from 1.00% to 1.18% citric acid and was not consistently significantly different among accessions over multiple harvests. Forty-two aroma compounds were putatively identified over three harvests for each accession and included mostly esters and ketones with a few alcohols, terpenes, and aldehydes. The majority of these compounds were similarly abundant over harvests and among accessions with a few exceptions, including methyl anthranilate. These results are the first in-depth study of yield and fruit quality for a large number of F. vesca accessions that could lead to increased cultivation of this species for local markets.

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Lynn Maher and Irwin L. Goldman

The earthy flavor of table beet is due to an aromatic terpene derivative called geosmin. It has been hypothesized that geosmin presence in beet is due to geosmin-producing bacteria such as Streptomyces spp. that exist in the soil. However, recent findings suggest that beet may produce geosmin endogenously without microbial influence. The purpose of this study was to determine whether such endogenous production of geosmin occurred in beet by making use of an aseptic tissue culture (TC) environment to remove potential microbial influences on geosmin production. Four table beet accessions (‘Bull’s Blood’, ‘Touchstone Gold’, ‘W364B’, and ‘Pacemaker III’) were grown in three separate TC experiments and in the greenhouse and measured for geosmin concentration via gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA was used to identify potential microbial contaminants in TC. Operational taxa units (OTUs) classification resulted in RNA sequences with homology to bacterial RNA of either chloroplast (98%) or mitochondria (2%) origin. Other OTUs identified were considered within the range of sequencing error. In 15 of the 16 TC–grown samples used for the 16S rRNA aseptic validation and in all the greenhouse-grown plant samples, geosmin was detected. Geosmin concentrations from bulked beet tissue of each accession were higher in the TC environment than the greenhouse environment. The lack of microbial detection in the TC environment and the subsequent identification of geosmin from beets grown in the aseptic environment is a strong indication that geosmin is produced endogenously by beets. This finding raises several interesting questions about the functional significance of this molecule for Beta vulgaris.

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Yan Wang and S.J. Kays

Breeding sweetpotatoes [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] for improved flavor would be greatly facilitated by understanding the flavor chemistry of the crop. To ascertain the chemical composition of the aroma, an aroma extract of baked `Jewel' sweetpotatoes was obtained using a cold solvent trap system and analyzed by gas chromatography (GC), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and gas chromatography olfactometry (GCO) using aroma extract dilution analysis (AEDA). GC with a flame ionization detector (GC-FID) revealed ≈60 compounds presented in the aroma extract, of which 48 were identified. Olfactory evaluation of the eluted compounds using GC with a thermal conductivity detector (GC-TCD) indicated the presence of 37 odor-active peaks in the aroma extract. Three compounds, phenylacetaldehyde (perfume), maltol (caramel), and methyl geranate (2,6-octadienoic acid, 3,7-dimethyl-, methyl ester) (sweet candy) possessed the highest flavor dilution (FD) values (1500) via AEDA. 2-Acetyl furan (baked potato), 2-pentyl furan (floral), 2-acetyl pyrrole (sweet, caramel), geraniol (sweet floral), and β-ionone (violet) had FD values of 1000. These compounds are thought to be the most potent odorants in baked `Jewel' sweetpotatoes. Additionally, 1,2,4-trimethyl benzene, 2-furmethanol, benzaldehyde, 5-methyl-2-furfural, linalool, isopulegone, n-decanal, 2,4-decadienal, octyl ketone, α-copaene, 4-decanolide, and one unidentified compound were also contributors to the aroma. There was not a character impact compound that comprised the basic baked sweetpotato aroma. The aroma appeared to be made up of a relatively complex mixture of compounds. Maillard and/or caramelization reactions, Strecker degradation of phenylalanine, lipid and carotenoid degradation, and the thermal release of glycosidically bound terpenes appear to be involved in the formation of the characteristic aroma of baked `Jewel' sweetpotatoes.