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  • Author or Editor: Jacqueline K. Burns x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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Mature and immature `Valencia' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] and immature `Valencia' orange and `Tahiti' lime (Citrus latifolia Tan.) fruit with attached pedicels were treated with 8 μL·L-1 ethylene for periods up to 24 hours. Endo-β-1,4-glucanase (cellulase) activity and gene expression were determined in fruit abscission zones during and after ethylene exposure. Cellulase activities were not detected in mature `Valencia' orange and immature `Tahiti' lime fruit abscission zones immediately following harvest and after 6 hours of ethylene treatment. After 12 hours of ethylene treatment, cellulase activity increased and was highest after 24 hours. Cellulase gene expression preceded the rise in cellulase activity and was detectable after 6 hours of ethylene treatment, but then declined after 12 hours. Following transfer to air storage, abscission zone cellulase activity in mature `Valencia' fruit remained high, whereas activity in immature `Tahiti' fruit declined. After 168 hours air storage, activity in abscission zones of mature `Valencia' fruit decreased slightly, but activity in abscission zones of immature `Tahiti' lime fruit increased to the highest level. Expression of abscission zone cellulase gene Cel-a1 in abscission zones of mature `Valencia' fruit markedly increased after transfer to air and was highest after 48 hours air storage. Cel-a1 expression returned to low levels after 168 hours of air storage, but expression of cellulase gene Cel-b1 remained at low levels throughout the air storage period. Expression of Cel-a1 and Cel-b1 declined in fruit abscission zones of immature `Valencia' and `Tahiti' lime fruit upon transfer to air. After 168 hours of air storage, expression of Cel-a1 again rose to high levels but Cel-b1 remained low. The results suggest that differences in cellulase activity and gene expression measured in mature and immature fruit abscission zones during ethylene treatment and subsequent air storage may, in part, explain the differential response of mature and immature fruit to abscission agents.

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The effect of temperature on the ability of 5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-1H-pyrazole (CMNP) and ethephon to induce ethylene evolution and abscission of mature fruit and leaves was determined using 3-year-old potted `Hamlin' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] trees in environment-controlled growth rooms in seasons 2001-02 and 2002-03. Ethylene evolution and abscission of CMNP or ethephon-treated fruit and ethephon-treated leaves were highly temperature dependent. Fruit detachment force (FDF) and fruit ethylene evolution were not affected by application of ethephon at 200 mg·L-1 or CMNP at 200 mg·L-1 when air temperature was 10 °C for ethephon treatment or ≤15.6 °C for CMNP treatment. However, ethylene evolution of CMNP or ethephon-treated fruit increased sharply, and FDF decreased drastically as temperature increased from 10 to 26.7 °C for ethephon treatment or from 15.6 to 26.7 °C for CMNP treatment. Several 10 hour day/14 hour night temperature regimes were explored to determine the effect of varying daily and nightly temperatures on efficacy and ethylene evolution. At least 3 days of exposure to 21/10 °C were required for CMNP to effectively loosen fruit, whereas only one day of exposure to 26.7/15.6 °C was enough to induce similar changes. At 21/10 °C, CMNP significantly reduced FDF to<25 N and markedly enhanced fruit ethylene evolution, regardless of interruption by 1 day of low temperature at 10/10 °C in the first 5 d after application. Ethephon had no significant effect on leaf ethylene evolution and leaf abscission when temperature was 10 °C, but caused a marked increase in both leaf ethylene evolution and leaf abscission as temperature increased from 10 to 26.7 °C. CMNP did not stimulate leaf ethylene evolution and leaf abscission regardless of temperature. Chemical names used: 5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-1 H-Pyrazole (CMNP); 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon).

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Abstract

Ca2+ content in cell wall-middle lamella (CW–ML) areas of outer and inner pericarp, placenta, and gel parenchyma of ripening tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cvs. Celebrity and Jumbo) and mesocarp of ripening peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch cv. Georgia Belle] was determined by energy dispersive (EDS) X-ray microanalysis. Ca2+ increased from 1.50 to 6.95 mg·g–1 dry weight in CW–ML of outer pericarp and 0.98 to 2.60 mg·g–1 dry weight in CW–ML of inner pericarp during ripening. Ca2+ content remained constant in tomato placenta and peach mesocarp, and was undetectable in tomato gel parenchyma throughout ripening. CW–ML of peach mesocarp had lower Ca2+ content than tomato pericarp and placenta at all ripening stages, but total peach uronic acid content was 2.5 times greater. Pectin methylesterase (PME) activity increased in tomato pericarp as fruit ripened, but remained low and unchanged in placenta and gel parenchyma. PME treatment of pericarp increased amounts of CW–ML Ca2+ in the breaker stage but not in the green mature stage. The results indicate that increased amounts of Ca2+ are bound to CW–ML of tomato pericarp as ripening occurs but not in placenta or peach mesocarp. Pectin deesterification and wall softening during ripening may in part be factors that control the presence and amount of CW–ML Ca2+.

Open Access

Abstract

Normal and collapsed juice vesicles were removed from stored late-harvested grapefruit segments (Citrus paradisi Macf. cv. Marsh) and the cell wall anatomy of epidermal and internal parenchyma was compared with light, scanning electron, and transmission electron microscopy. Normal juice vesicles were turgid and elongate, and epidermal cells and internal parenchyma were intact. Collapsed juice vesicles appeared flattened, and internal parenchyma were compressed. Cell wall thickening occurred in internal parenchyma and single or clustered epidermal cells of collapsed vesicles. Cell walls of the same cells in normal vesicles were thin. Epidermal and internal parenchyma cell walls of collapsed vesicles were 10 to 50 to 10 to 20 times the thickness, respectively, of corresponding normal cell walls. Lignin was detected in thickened cell walls of epidermal and internal parenchyma of collapsed vesicles. The results suggest that cell wall synthesis in vesicles is a symptom of section drying in grapefruit.

Open Access

Abstract

Pectin methylesterase (PME, EC 3.1.1.11) was added to locular gel and pericarp of ripening tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) and cell wall alterations were examined. Treatment of mature tomato locular gel with purified PME resulted in release of protoplasts. No protoplasts could be detected from immature locular gel or pericarp at any ripening stage examined under similar conditions. Net solubilization of pectins occurred with PME treatment in both tissues. Pectins solubilized with buffer or PME were of high molecular weight. Maximum protoplast release and pectin solubilization occurred at pH 5.0. Increased pectin solubilization in locular gel and pericarp is a result of polygalacturonase action on PME-induced deesterified pectin, the preferred substrate. Release of protoplasts from PME-treated mature locular gel suggests that maturation in this tissue involves alterations in cell wall structure that do not occur in pericarp.

Open Access

Several citrus cultivars including `Marsh' grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) and `Fallglo' tangerine [Bower citrus hybrid (C. reticulata Blanco × C. reticulata × C. paradisi) × Temple tangor (C. reticulata × C. sinensis L. Osbeck)] are prone to develop postharvest peel pitting at nonchilling temperatures. This disorder is characterized by depressions in flavedo that ultimately affect oil glands. Although the fundamental cause for this disorder has not been well defined, increasing evidence indicates that alteration in peel water status during postharvest handling of fruit plays a major role. `Fallglo' tangerines developed postharvest peel pitting when transferred from low (30%) to high (90%) relative humidity (RH) storage. To determine the number of hours of dehydration prior to storage at high RH sufficient to induce peel pitting in `Marsh' grapefruit and `Fallglo' tangerines, fruit were exposed to low RH conditions for increasing periods of time and then washed, coated with commercial shellac-based wax, and stored at high RH. Only 2 hours of low RH storage were sufficient to induce peel pitting in `Fallglo' and `Marsh' after transfer to high RH. The severity of pitting in `Fallglo' tangerines was greater than in `Marsh' grapefruit. Weight loss of fruit at the end of low RH storage and peel pitting after 3 weeks of storage at high RH were significantly correlated. RH conditions in the field at the time of harvest affected susceptibility to peel pitting in both cultivars. Peel pitting was more severe when fruit were harvested at low field RH than high field RH when followed by treatments that induce peel pitting. The data suggest that harvesting susceptible cultivars at high RH, and minimizing exposure to low RH after harvest, could reduce the commercial impact of postharvest peel pitting.

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Guanfacine and clonidine were combined with ethephon or metsulfuron-methyl in the spray tank and applied as foliar sprays to Citrus sinensis L. Osb. `Valencia', Citrus madurensis Loureiro (calamondin), and Prunus persica `Elberta' to determine their effects on leaf loss, fruit detachment force (FDF), immature fruit loss, and twig dieback. In `Valencia' orange, `Elberta' peach and calamondin, guanfacine and clonidine effectively reduced ethephon-induced defoliation in all three tree species, whereas only guanfacine was effective with metsulfuron-methyl applications in `Valencia'. The ability of ethephon to reduce FDF in `Valencia' was only minimally impaired by guanfacine but not impaired by clonidine. Both guanfacine and clonidine diminished the capacity of metsulfuron-methyl to reduce FDF. Guanfacine reduced immature fruit loss of `Valencia' caused by metsulfuron-methyl and reduced twig-dieback. Leaf loss was reduced whether guanfacine or clonidine were applied with ethephon, or 24 hours or 17 days before ethephon application. Guanfacine and clonidine reduced leaf loss induced by continuous exposure of potted calamondin trees to ethylene, and leaf loss was similar with guanfacine and 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) treatments. In separate experiments, guanfacine and clonidine were unable to block ethylene perception in Arabidopsis seedlings and petunia flowers but promoted rooting in coleus and tomato vegetative cuttings, suggesting that these compounds have auxin-like activity. The results demonstrate the potential to enhance selectivity of abscission agents with guanfacine and clonidine. Chemical names used: 2-[(2,6-dichlorophenyl)amino]-2-imidazoline, clonidine; 5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-pyrazole, CMN-P; [(2,6-dichlorophenyl)acetyl]guanidine, guanfacine; [(2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid, ethephon; indole-3-butyric acid, IBA; 1-methylcyclopropene, 1-MCP.

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The effects of removal of young fruit and application of auxin transport inhibitors on endogenous indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and abscisic acid (ABA) concentrations were examined in relation to the response of mature `Valencia' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] fruit to abscission materials. ABA concentrations were increased in the fruit abscission zone and pulp but not in the pedicel, peel, or seed of mature fruit by removal of young fruit during the period of reduced response of mature fruit to abscission materials in early May. However, removal of young fruit slightly decreased IAA concentrations in leaves and the abscission zone and pedicel of mature fruit but had no effect on the IAA concentrations in the peel, pulp, or seed of mature fruit. Young fruit had higher IAA concentrations in the abscission zone and pedicel than mature fruit. Application of 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid (TIBA), an IAA transport inhibitor, reduced IAA concentrations in the abscission zone of mature fruit but did not influence the IAA concentrations in the pedicel and peel when applied directly to an absorbent collar tied around the pedicel 2 cm above the fruit abscission zone during the less responsive period in early May. ABA concentrations were increased drastically in the fruit abscission zone and pedicel but not in peel by TIBA application. Applications of ABA, or IAA transport inhibitors such as naringenin, quercetin, or TIBA comparably increased the response of mature fruit to the abscission material 5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-1 H-pyrazole (CMN-pyrazole) in early May. These data suggest that young fruit reduce the response of mature `Valencia' oranges to abscission materials through increasing IAA concentrations and decreasing ABA concentrations in the abscission zone of mature `Valencia' orangees.

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Colletotrichum acutatum J. H. Simmonds infects citrus flower petals, causing brownish lesions, young fruit drop, production of persistent calyces, and leaf distortion. This suggests that hormones may be involved in symptom development. To identify the types of hormones, cDNA clones encoding proteins related to ethylene and jasmonate (JA) biosynthesis, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) regulation, cell-wall modification, signal transduction, or fruit ripening were used to examine differential gene expressions in calamondin (Citrus madurensis Lour) and/or `Valencia' sweet orange (Citrus sinensis Osbeck) after C. acutatum infection. Northern-blot analyses revealed that the genes encoding 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) oxidase and 12-oxophytodienoate required for ethylene and JA biosynthesis, respectively, were highly up-regulated in both citrus species. Both gene transcripts increased markedly in petals, young fruit and stigmas, but not in calyces. The transcripts of the genes encoding IAA glucose transferase and auxin-responsive GH3-like protein, but not IAA amino acid hydrolyase, also markedly increased in both species 5 days after inoculation. The expansin and chitinase genes were slightly up-regulated, whereas the senescence-induced nuclease and ß-galactosidase genes were down-regulated in calamondin. No differential expression of transcripts was detected for the genes encoding expansin, polygalacturonase, and serine-threonine kinase in sweet orange. As compared to the water controls, infection of C. acutatum increased ethylene and IAA levels by 3- and 140-fold. In contrast, abscisic acid (ABA) levels were not significantly changed. Collectively, the results indicate that infection by C. acutatum of citrus flowers triggered differential gene expressions, mainly associated with IAA, ethylene, and JA production and regulation, and increased hormone concentrations, consistent with the hypothesis of the involvement of phytohormones in postbloom fruit drop.

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Methyl jasmonate (MJ) was tested as a potential abscission chemical to enhance mechanical harvest of `Hamlin' and `Valenica' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.]. In field experiments, a solution of 1, 5, 10, 20, or 100 mm MJ was applied either as a stem wrap to individual fruit or as a spray to entire trees or canopy sectors. Solutions of 10, 20, and 100 mm MJ resulted in significant and consistent reduction of fruit detachment force and caused fruit drop within 7 to 10 days. Fruit loosening was preceded by an increase in the internal ethylene concentration of fruit similar to that of other experimental abscission compounds. While concentrations of 10 mm and less caused no or negligible phytotoxicity, solutions exceeding 10 mm MJ induced unacceptable levels of leaf abscission.

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