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  • Author or Editor: Richard J. Gladon x
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Activity of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) dehydratase [ALAD, (EC 4.2.1.24)] and soluble protein content were determined in `Rutgers' tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) fruit pericarp extracts during development and ripening. ALAD activity in several organs of tomato plant also was determined. Fruit tissue was analyzed at 5-day intervals between days 10 and 60 postanthesis. ALAD activity in fruit tissue declined over time, with the most pronounced decrease occurring between days 10 and 25. At the mature green stage (day 40), and before the breaker stage (day 45), activity of ALAD had declined to a steady-state minimum, and it remained detectable at residual levels throughout ripening (days 40 to 60). Soluble protein content declined less rapidly than did ALAD activity. Immunoblot analysis showed that ALAD protein existed as a doublet of isozymes. One isozyme decreased in abundance, whereas the other isozyme remained constant during development and ripening. ALAD activity was greatest in extracts of chlorophyllous organs (stems, leaves, immature fruit) but only marginally detectable in extracts of nonchlorophyllous organs (roots, overripe fruit). The pH optimum and Km for tomato fruit ALAD were similar to those of ALAD isolated from other sources. Abbreviations: ALA, 5-aminolevulinic acid; ALAD, ALA dehydratase; PBG, porphobilinogen; SDS-PAGE, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacry - lamide gel electrophoresis.

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Exposure to exogenous ethylene (C2H4) caused corolla abscission of New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens × hawkeri `Sunfire'). Abscission varied with time of exposure and C2H4 concentration. Ethylene at ≥ 1 μl·liter-1 and exposure times of 4 or more hours caused 80% to 100% corolla abscission. Simulated shipping of untreated control plants caused ≈ 65% corolla abscission. Plants pretreated with silver thiosulfate (STS) and (aminooxy)acetic acid (AOA) and subsequently exposed to simulated shipping were not different from one another, and both treatments reduced corolla abscission to ≈ 20% when applied at 1.0 mm. Plants pretreated with STS and exposed to `exogenous C2H4 showed 0% abscission, whereas plants pretreated with AOA showed no reduction in abscission when compared with control plants.

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Cut Rosa ×hybrida L. `Royalty' flowers were used to determine the efficacy of electron-beam irradiation for increasing postharvest quality and decreasing petal infection by Botrytis cinerea Pers. In an experiment for determining the injury threshold, roses received electron-beam irradiation of 0, 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kGy. Irradiation dosages ≥1 kGy caused necrosis on petal tissue and decreased postharvest life at 20 °C. In a second experiment to evaluate postharvest quality, roses were irradiated at 0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1 kGy. Dosages of 0.25 and 0.5 kGy slowed the rate of flower bud opening for 2 days but did not decrease postharvest quality when compared with nonirradiated roses. Roses that received irradiation dosages of 0.75 and 1 kGy showed unacceptable quality. In a third experiment, roses that had or had not been inoculated with B. cinerea were irradiated at 0, 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75 kGy. Irradiation did not control B. cinerea populations, and rose quality decreased as dosage increased. In a fourth experiment to determine the effect of irradiation on B. cinerea, conidia on water-agar plates exposed to dosages ≤1, 2, and 4 kGy germinated at rates of ≈90%, 33%, and 2%, respectively, within 24 h.

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