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  • Author or Editor: Carl Sams x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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Crops of the Brassicaceae contain glucosinolates(GSs), which when hydrolyzed by the enzyme myrosinase, generate products involved in cancer chemoprotection, plant defense, and plant-insect interactions. A rapid-cycling base population of B. oleracea L. was grown in a hydroponic system in a controlled environment to determine the roles of temperature, photosynthetic photon flux (PPF), and photoperiod in GS concentration and myrosinase activity. The concentration of total GSs in leaves was 44% and 114% higher at 12 and 32 °C respectively than at 22 °C under constant light of 300 μmol·m-2·s-1. The concentration of glucoraphanin, the precursor to sulforaphane, a compound with chemoprotective properties, was 5-fold higher at 32 than at 22 °C. Total GSs were ≈50% lower in roots at 12 °C and 32 than at 22 °C. Total GSs in leaves decreased 20% when PPF was increased from 200 to 400 μmol·m-2·s-1. Myrosinase activity on a fresh weight basis (activity-FW) was ≈30% higher in leaves and stems at 12 and 32 °C than at 22 °C, and ≈30% higher in leaves grown at 200 and 400 μmol·m-2·s-1 than at 300 μmol·m-2·s-1. Consideration of climatic factors that influence the glucosinolate-myrosinase system may be necessary to optimize the planting and cultivation of Brassica crops for maximum health benefits.

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The U.S. Clean Air Act bans the use of methyl bromide after 2005. Consequently, the development of alternative methods for control of soilborne pathogens is imperative. One alternative is to exploit the pesticidal properties of Brassica L. species. Macerated leaves (10 g) from `Premium Crop' broccoli [B. oleracea L. (Botrytis Group)], `Charmant' cabbage [B. oleracea L. (Capitata Group)], `Michihili Jade Pagoda' Chinese cabbage [B. rapa L. (Pekinensis Group)], `Blue Scotch Curled' kale [B. oleracea L. (Acephala Group)], Indian mustard [B. juncea (L.) Czerniak, unknown cultivar] or `Florida Broadleaf' mustard [B. juncea (L.) Czerniak] were placed in 500-mL glass jars. Petri dishes with either Pythium ultimum Trow or Rhizoctonia solani Kühn plugs on potato-dextrose agar were placed over the jar mouths. Radial growth of both fungi was suppressed most by Indian mustard. Volatiles were collected by solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) comprised >90% of the volatiles measured from `Florida Broadleaf' mustard and Indian mustard whereas (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate was the predominant compound emitted by the other species. Isothiocyanates were not detected by SPME from `Premium Crop' broccoli and `Blue Scotch Curled' kale although glucosinolates were found in freeze-dried leaves of all species. When exposed to AITC standard, P. ultimum growth was partially suppressed by 1.1 μmol·L-1 (μmol AITC/headspace volume) and completely suppressed by 2.2 μmol·L-1 R. solani was partially suppressed by 1.1, 2.2, and 3.3 μmol·L-1 AITC. Use of Brassica species for control of fungal pathogens is promising; the presence of AITC in both lines of B. juncea suppressed P. ultimum and R. solani but some Brassicas were inhibitory even when isothiocyanates were not detected.

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Microgreens are specialty leafy crops harvested just above the roots after the first true leaves have emerged and are consumed fresh. Broccoli (Brassica oleacea var. italica) microgreens can accumulate significant concentrations of cancer-fighting glucosinolates as well as being a rich source of other antioxidant phytochemicals. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) now provide the ability to measure impacts of narrow-band wavelengths of light on seedling physiology. The carotenoid zeaxanthin has been hypothesized to be a blue light receptor in plant physiology. The objective of this study was to measure the impact of short-duration blue light on phytochemical compounds, which impart the nutritional quality of sprouting broccoli microgreens. Broccoli microgreens were grown in a controlled environment under LEDs using growing pads. Seeds were cultured on the pads submerged in deionized water and grown under a 24-hour photoperiod using red (627 nm)/blue (470 nm) LEDs (350 μmol·m−2·s−1) at an air temperature of 23 °C. On emergence of the first true leaf, a complete nutrient solution with 42 mg·L−1 of nitrogen (N) was used to submerge the growing pads. At 13 days after sowing, broccoli plantlets were grown under either: 1) red and blue LED light (350 μmol·m−2·s−1); or 2) blue LED light (41 μmol·m−2·s−1) treatments for 5 days before harvest. The experiment was repeated three times. Frozen shoot tissues were freeze-dried and measured for carotenoids, chlorophylls, glucosinolates, and mineral elements. Comparing the two LED light treatments revealed the short-duration blue LED treatment before harvest significantly increased shoot tissue β-carotene (P ≤ 0.05), violaxanthin (P ≤ 0.01), total xanthophyll cycle pigments (P ≤ 0.05), glucoraphanin (P ≤ 0.05), epiprogoitrin (P ≤ 0.05), aliphatic glucosinolates (P ≤ 0.05), essential micronutrients of copper (Cu) (P = 0.02), iron (Fe) (P ≤ 0.01), boron (B), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), sodium (Na), zinc (Zn) (P ≤ 0.001), and the essential macronutrients of calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S) (P ≤ 0.001). Results demonstrate management of LED lighting technology through preharvest, short-duration blue light acted to increase important phytochemical compounds influencing the nutritional value of broccoli microgreens.

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Abstract

Fruit of ‘Golden Delicious’ apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) infiltrated after harvest with CaCl2 solutions of up to 12% (w/v) had lower ethylene production rates than untreated fruit during a 7-day period at 20°C immediately following treatment. However, after a 5-month storage period at 0° the effect of calcium on ethylene production diminished rapidly during a 7-day ripening period at 20°. Ethylene production for the 7-day period immediately following calcium treatment was correlated negatively to calcium concentration of the fruit. Calcium treatment had no significant effect on fruit respiration rate in this study. High calcium concentrations resulted in a decrease in the magnitude of ethylene production but had no effect on respiration. Titratable acidity and percentage of soluble solids were unaffected by calcium treatment even at high concentrations of CaCl2. Fruit firmness was correlated positively to calcium concentration of the fruit both before and after storage at 0°, and soluble polyuronide content of the fruit was correlated negatively to fruit calcium.

Open Access

Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) is the predominant isothiocyanate produced by damaged tissues of Indian mustard (Brassica juncea (L) Czerniak). This study investigated Indian mustard and AITC mediated suppression of mycelial growth and sclerotial germination of Sclerotium rolfsii Saccardo, a common soilborne pathogen. Indian mustard (IM) treatments of 0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.6, 1.0, 2.0, 4.1, 5.1, 10.2, 20.4, 40.8, 81.6, and 163.3 g·L-1 (weight of reconstituted mustard per liter of air) were evaluated for suppression of mycelial growth. Treatment effect was evaluated by measuring the radial growth of mycelia. Sclerotia were placed in culture tubes containing 18 g autoclaved soil and covered with an additional 5 g soil. AITC at concentrations of 0, 4.0, 16.0, 64.0, 256.0, 1024.0, or 4096.0 μmol·L-1 was injected into the tubes. Treated sclerotia were removed from tubes and plated on potato dextrose agar to determine viability. Mycelial growth was inhibited with IM treatments (P < 0.01). Inhibiting concentrations (IC) of IM for mycelial growth inhibition of 50% and 90% were 0.7 and 1.0 g·L-1, respectively, with death resulting with >2 g·L-1. Inhibition attributable to AITC alone was lower than that achieved by IM producing equivalent amounts of AITC. Germination of sclerotia was negatively correlated with AITC concentration (r = 0.96; P < 0.01). The IC50 and IC90, of AITC were 249.0 and 528.8 μmol·L-1, respectively, at 42 hours. The lethal concentration for sclerotia was not reached; only suppression occurred at the highest treatment concentrations. Sclerotium rolfsii mycelia were sensitive to the IM volatiles and were suppressed at low concentrations. Sclerotia were more resistant than the mycelia and required higher concentrations of AITC to suppress germination.

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Effects of postharvest pressure infiltration of distilled water, CaCl2 solutions at 0.14 or 0.27 mol·L-1 without and with subsequent fruit coating treatments of preclimacteric `Golden Delicious' [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf. `Golden Delicious'] apples on volatile levels, respiration, ethylene production, and internal atmospheres after storage at 0 °C for 1 to 6 months, and during subsequent shelf life at 20 °C were investigated. Over 30 volatiles were detected, most of the identified volatiles were esters; the rest were alcohols, aldehydes, ethers, a ketone, and a sesquiterpene. Pressure infiltration of water and increasing concentrations of CaCl2 resulted progressively in reduced total volatile levels, respiration, ethylene production, and internal O2 levels and increased CO2 levels in fruit following 2 to 4 months storage in air at 0 °C. Total volatile levels, respiration, ethylene production, and internal atmospheres of CaCl2-treated apples at 0.14 mol·L-1 gradually recovered to nontreated control levels following 2 weeks of shelf life at 20 °C and/or storage at 0 °C in air for more than 4 months. Following the calcium treatments with a shellac- or wax-based coating had similar but stronger and more persistent effects on volatile levels, respiration, ethylene production, and internal atmospheres than those found in fruit treated with CaCl2 alone. Calcium infiltration did not change the composition of volatile compounds found in fruit. Results suggest that pressure infiltration of `Golden Delicious' apples with CaCl2 solutions transiently inhibited volatile levels, respiration, and ethylene production, in part, by forming a more-or-less transient barrier to CO2 and O2 exchange between the fruit tissue and the surrounding atmosphere.

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The effects of postharvest pressure infiltration of calcium chloride (CaCl2) solutions, fruit coatings and shrink-wrap film treatments of apples (Malus domestica Borkh. `Golden Delicious') on peel injury, quality attributes, respiration and internal atmospheres after storage at 0 °C for 2 to 6 months, and during subsequent ripening at 20 °C were investigated. CaCl2 treatments (0.14 to 0.34 mol·L-1) reduced internal and evolved ethylene and softening of fruits, but they also caused distinctive injury to the fruit surface. Following the CaCl2 treatments with a water rinse and a wax- or shellac-based coating or a shrink-wrap film reduced surface injury in fruits treated with 0.24 or 0.34 mol·L-1 solutions of CaCl2 and eliminated injury resulting from a 0.14 mol·L-1 CaCl2 treatment. The fruit coatings delayed ripening; as indicated by better retention of fresh mass, green peel color, titratable acidity and flesh firmness, and the reduced respiration and ethylene production rates that were observed upon transferring the fruits to 20 °C. Sequential treatments with CaCl2 and a shrink-wrap film also reduced fresh mass loss, respiration and ethylene production rates, but had no effect on other quality characteristics. Internal CO2 levels increased and O2 and ethylene levels decreased in surface coated fruits during storage at 0 °C. Coating fruits without the use of CaCl2 also delayed ripening though not as well as that for fruits sequentially treated with CaCl2 and a surface coating.

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Changes in tissue water relations, cell wall calcium (Ca) levels and physical properties of Ca-treated and untreated `Golden Delicious' apples (Malus×domestica Borkh.) were monitored for up to 8 months after harvest. Pressure infiltration of fruit with CaCl2 solutions at concentrations up to 0.34 mol·L-1 reduced both fruit softening and air space volume of fruit in a concentration-dependent manner. Turgor potential-related stress within the fruit persisted during storage and was higher in Ca-treated than in untreated fruit. Fruit that were pressure infiltrated with CaCl2 solutions between 0.14 and 0.20 mol·L-1 and then waxed to reduce water loss during storage showed no peel injury. Calcium efflux patterns from apple tissue disks indicated two distinct Ca compartments having efflux kinetics consistent with those for cell wall Donnan-phase bound and water free space soluble Ca. At Ca concentrations up to 0.20 mol·L-1, cell wall bound Ca approached saturation whereas soluble Ca showed a linear dependence. At higher external Ca concentrations, only soluble Ca in the tissue increased. During 8 months of cold storage, cell wall Ca-binding capacity increased up to 48%. The osmotic potential of apples harvested over three seasons ranged between-1.32 and -2.33 MPa. In tissue disks, turgor potential changes caused by adjusting the osmolality of the incubation solution with CaCl2 or sorbitol were accompanied by changes in the osmotic and water potentials of the tissue. In CaCl2 solutions up to 0.34 mol·L-1, turgor potential was ≥0.6 MPa in tissue incubated in 0.14 or 0.17 mol·L-1 solutions of CaCl2 and was more than 3 times higher than in tissues incubated in low (≤0.03 mol·L-1) or high (≥0.27 mol·L-1) concentrations of CaCl2. At osmotically equivalent concentrations, turgor potential was up to 40% higher in Ca-than in sorbitol-treated tissue. The results suggest that postharvest treatment with 0.14 to 0.20 mol·L-1 solutions of CaCl2 are best for maintaining fruit water relations and storage life of `Golden Delicious' apples while minimizing the risk of salt-related injuries to the fruit. While higher concentrations of CaCl2 may better maintain firmness, these treatments adversely affect fruit water relations and increase the risk of fruit injury.

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Three polyamine biosynthesis inhibitors, α-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), α-difluoromethylarginine (DFMA), and α-methylornithine (MeOrn), alone and in combination with CaCl2, were tested for their ability to reduce in vitro growth and soft rot development in apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) fruit caused by Botrytis cinerea Pers.:Fr. and Penicillium expansum Link. All three inhibitors reduced the in vitro growth of the pathogens. Calcium had no effect on fungal growth in vitro. Pressure infiltration of millimolar concentrations of DFMO or DFMA or 25 g·L-1 CaCl2 solutions into apples reduced subsequent soft rot development by B. cinerea and P. expansum >40%. A combination treatment of Ca and DFMO or DFMA reduced decay >67%. Treatment of apples with MeOrn was less effective at inhibiting decay development. None of the inhibitors affected polyamine levels in apple cortical tissues. Some injury to the fruit surface was observed with Ca treatments. Fruit treated with Ca and any of the inhibitors were less firm than those treated with Ca alone. Specific polyamine biosynthesis inhibitors in combination with Ca may prove useful in reducing postharvest decay in apples.

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One important regulator that coordinates response to environmental stress is the hormone abscisic acid (ABA), which is synthesized from xanthophyll pigments. Despite the fact that there is strong evidence of increases in ABA concentrations under various environmental stresses, information concerning the effects of exogenous ABA applications on leaf pigments and fruit carotenoids in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is lacking. This study investigated the impacts of root tissue ABA applications on tomato leaf and fruit pigmentation concentrations of ‘MicroTina’ and ‘MicroGold’ tomato plants. Tomato plants were treated with increasing concentrations of ABA in the nutrient solution. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine dose–response effects of ABA treatment in solution culture for maximum leaf pigmentation and fruit carotenoids in two distinct genotypes of dwarf tomato. Because ABA is a product of the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway, we hypothesized that applications of ABA treatments would have a positive impact on leaf chlorophylls and carotenoids. Applications of ABA treatments may also have a positive impact on tomato fruit carotenoids. The results indicated that ‘MicroTina’ plants treated with ABA (0.5, 5.0, and 10.0 mg·L−1) had a significant increase in β-carotene [BC (P ≤ 0.001)], lutein [LUT (P ≤ 0.001)], zeaxanthin [ZEA (P ≤ 0.05)], and neoxanthin [NEO (P ≤ 0.001)] in the leaf tissue. In ‘MicroGold’ tomato plants, carotenoids responded similarly. For example, there were significant increases in BC (P ≤ 0.01), LUT (P ≤ 0.001), ZEA (P ≤ 0.05), and NEO (P ≤ 0.001). In ‘MicroTina’ tomato leaves, there were significant increases in chlorophyll a [Chl a (P ≤ 0.001)] and chlorophyll b [Chl b (P ≤ 0.001)] concentrations. Furthermore, there were significant increases in Chl a (P ≤ 0.001) and Chl b (P ≤ 0.001) in ‘MicroGold’ leaf tissue. In ‘MicroTina’ tomato fruit tissue, the concentration increased significantly for lycopene [LYCO (P ≤ 0.01)]. However, in ‘MicroGold’, there were no significant changes in BC and LUT concentrations. In addition, LYCO was found to be below detection limits in ‘MicroGold’ tomato fruit. Therefore, ABA has been shown to positively change tomato leaf pigments in both genotypes and fruit tissue carotenoid concentrations in ‘MicroTina’ tomato.

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