Seasonal fluctuations in nonstructural carbohydrates (starch and soluble sugars) were studied in `Hass' avocado (Persea americana Mill.) trees on `Duke 7' rootstock over a 2-year period in southern California. On a dry weight basis, total soluble sugar (TSS) concentrations ranged from 33.0 to 236.0 mg·g-1 dry weight and were high compared to starch concentration (2.0 to 109.0 mg·g-1 dry weight) in all measured organs (stems, leaves, trunks and roots). The seven carbon (C7) sugars, D-mannoheptulose and perseitol, were the dominant soluble sugars detected. The highest starch and TSS concentrations were found in stem tissues, and in stems, a distinct seasonal fluctuation in starch and TSS concentrations was observed. This coincided with vegetative growth flushes over both sampling years. Stem TSS and starch concentrations increased beginning in autumn, with cessation of shoot growth, until midwinter, possibly due to storage of photosynthate produced during the winter photosynthetic period. TSS peaked in midwinter, while starch increased throughout the winter to a maximum level in early spring. A second peak in stem TSS was observed in midsummer following flowering and spring shoot growth. At this time, stem starch concentration also decreased to the lowest level of the year. This complementary cycling between stem TSS and starch suggests that a conversion of starch to sugars occurs to support vegetative growth and flowering, while sugars produced photosynthetically may be allocated directly to support flowering and fruit production.
Xuan Liu, Paul W. Robinson, Monica A. Madore, Guy W. Witney and Mary Lu Arpaia
Xuan Liu, Paul W. Robinson, Monica A. Madore, Guy W. Witney and Mary Lu Arpaia
Changes in soluble sugar and starch reserves in avocado (Persea americana Mill. on `Duke 7' rootstock) fruit were followed during growth and development and during low temperature storage and ripening. During the period of rapid fruit size expansion, soluble sugars accounted for most of the increase in fruit tissue biomass (peel: 17% to 22%, flesh: 40% to 44%, seed: 32% to 41% of the dry weight). More than half of the fruit total soluble sugars (TSS) was comprised of the seven carbon (C7) heptose sugar, D-mannoheptulose, and its polyol form, perseitol, with the balance being accounted for by the more common hexose sugars, glucose and fructose. Sugar content in the flesh tissues declined sharply as oil accumulation commenced. TSS declines in the seed were accompanied by a large accumulation of starch (≈30% of the dry weight). During postharvest storage at 1 or 5 °C, TSS in peel and flesh tissues declined slowly over the storage period. Substantial decreases in TSS, and especially in the C7 sugars, was observed in peel and flesh tissues during fruit ripening. These results suggest that the C7 sugars play an important role, not only in metabolic processes associated with fruit development, but also in respiratory processes associated with postharvest physiology and fruit ripening.
David Obenland, Dennis Margosan, Sue Collin, James Sievert, Kent Fjeld, Mary Lu Arpaia, James Thompson and David Slaughter
The use of ultraviolet fluorescence to identify freeze-damaged navel oranges (Citrus sinensis) was evaluated using fruit harvested following a natural freeze that occurred in California in Jan. 2007. Navel oranges were harvested after the freeze from 14 sites that were previously determined to have a slight to moderate amount of freeze damage. The fruit were evaluated for the presence of small yellow spots characteristic of freeze damage that fluoresce when viewed under a ultraviolet-A (365 nm) source and were then cut and rated using a method currently used by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to determine the presence of internal freeze damage. The percentage of freeze-damaged fruit in each lot as determined by the CDFA method ranged from 0% to 89%. The accuracy of classifying fruit as freeze damaged in each lot by peel fluorescence averaged 44%, with the fruit lots containing the greatest amount of freeze damage having the highest classification percentages. False-positives occurred at a lower rate than false-negatives among the lots. Although some fading was evident, the fluorescence persisted and was readily visible for at least 9 weeks after the freeze event. Removal of fruit with ultraviolet peel fluorescence was ineffective in reducing the percentage of damaged fruit within the examined lots. In the second part of the test, eighteen lots of potentially freeze-damaged fruit were obtained from a packing house, immediately evaluated for freeze damage using ultraviolet light, and then after 4 weeks of storage, were evaluated again using the CDFA method. Fruit that had a slight to moderate degree of freeze damage were tasted and evaluated for sensory characteristics. Both methods of freeze damage detection were poorly related to the sensory characteristics.
David Obenland, Paul Neipp, Sue Collin, Jim Sievert, Kent Fjeld, Margo Toyota, Julie Doctor and Mary Lu Arpaia
It is commonly believed within the citrus industry that handling, waxing, and storage of navel oranges may have undesirable effects on flavor. However, the effect of each potential influencing factor under commercial conditions is not completely understood. The purpose of this study was to systematically investigate these potential influences on navel orange flavor. Navel oranges were harvested on two separate dates, using three grower lots per harvest date, and the fruit run on a commercial packing line. Fruit were sampled at four different stages of the packing process: in the field bin; after the washer; after the waxer; and after packing into standard cartons. Fruit quality, flavor, and juice ethanol concentration were evaluated immediately after sampling and following 3 and 6 weeks of storage at 5 °C. The overall hedonic score, a measure of flavor, significantly declined from 6.5 to 5.7, as a result of 6 weeks storage. Fruit selected from field bins, from after the washer, and after the waxer were all judged by the taste panel to be equivalent in flavor. The packed fruit were judged to be slightly inferior in flavor. Titratable acidity declined while soluble solids increased as a result of storage; the stage of the packing process influenced neither. Waxing and storage both were associated with higher ethanol levels in the fruit.
Etaferahu Takele, John A. Menge, John E. Pehrson Jr., Jewell L. Meyer, Charles W. Coggins Jr., Mary Lu Arpaia, J. Daniel Hare, Darwin R. Atkin and Carol Adams
The effect of various integrated crop management practices on productivity (fruit yield, grade, and sire) and returns of `Washington Navel' oranges [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] was determined in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Seventy-two combinations of treatments comprised of three irrigation levels [80%, 100%, and 120% evapotranspiration demand (ETc)], three N fertilizer levels (low, medium, and high based on 2.3%, 2.5%, and 2.7% leaf N, respectively), gibberellic acid (±), miticide (±), and fungicide-nematicide (±) were included in the analysis. Using a partial budgeting procedure, returns after costs were calculated for each treatment combiition. Costs of treatments, harvesting, packing, and processing were subtracted from the value of the crop. The value of the crop was calculated as the sum of returns of crop in each size and grade category. The overall result indicated that returns after costs were higher for the +fungicide-nematicide treatment and also were generally more with increased irrigation. The combination of 120% ETc, +fungicide-nematicide, medium or high N, -miticide, and -gibberellin showed the highest return of all treatment combinations. Second highest returns were obtained with high N or with miticide and gibberellin used together.
Vanessa E.T.M. Ashworth, Haofeng Chen, Carlos L. Calderón-Vázquez, Mary Lu Arpaia, David N. Kuhn, Mary L. Durbin, Livia Tommasini, Elizabeth Deyett, Zhenyu Jia, Michael T. Clegg and Philippe E. Rolshausen
The glossy, green-fleshed fruit of the avocado (Persea americana) has been the object of human selection for thousands of years. Recent interest in healthy nutrition has singled out the avocado as an excellent source of several phytonutrients. Yet as a sizeable, slow-maturing tree crop, it has been largely neglected by genetic studies, owing to a long breeding cycle and costly field trials. We use a small, replicated experimental population of 50 progeny, grown at two locations in two successive years, to explore the feasibility of developing a dense genetic linkage map and to implement quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis for seven phenotypic traits. Additionally, we test the utility of candidate-gene single-nucleotide polymorphisms developed to genes from biosynthetic pathways of phytonutrients beneficial to human health. The resulting linkage map consisted of 1346 markers (1044.7 cM) distributed across 12 linkage groups. Numerous markers on Linkage Group 10 were associated with a QTL for flowering type. One marker on Linkage Group 1 tracked a QTL for β-sitosterol content of the fruit. A region on Linkage Group 3 tracked vitamin E (α-tocopherol) content of the fruit, and several markers were stable across both locations and study years. We argue that the pursuit of linkage mapping and QTL analysis is worthwhile, even when population size is small.