Onions (Allium cepa L.) with ≥18% bulb dry weight are dehydrated and used for spices and food ingredients. Bulb weight characteristics and water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC) of two commercial dehydrator cultivars, GS02 and GS04, and a breeding population, NM9335, were studied before and after maturity to observe phenotypic traits that may be useful for selection during breeding programs, and to study dehydrator onion carbohydrate physiology. At maturity, NM9335, GS02, and GS04 bulbs had 11.9 ± 0.33%, 18.6 ± 0.27%, and 19.4 ± 0.40% dry weight, respectively. Mature GS04 plants had 76.5 ± 0.01% of whole plant dry weight in bulbs, which is an extraordinarily high crop harvest index. NM9335 bulbs had higher fresh (hydrated) weight than bulbs of GS04 and GS02, but bulbs in all populations accumulated similar amounts of dry weight. Bulb percent dry weight before maturity did not indicate percent dry weight at maturity in the high-solids commercial onion cultivars. Bulb percent dry weight declined slightly after maturity in all populations. Glucose, fructose, and sucrose were relatively low, and fructans with degree of polymerization ≥6 were relatively high in GS04, but the converse was observed in NM9335. Relative amounts of GSO4 bulb fructan increased sequentially, in order of rank, from DP4 to DP6, but the converse was observed for NM9335.
New Mexican Chile peppers (Capsicum annuum L. `New Mexico 6-4') were harvested at weekly intervals beginning 20 days after flowering (DAF), and were evaluated for ethylene (C2 H4) production, respiration rates, chlorophyll content, degradative enzyme activity (cellulase, polygalacturonase, ß-galactosidase), and fruit firmness. Morphological and physiological changes were most apparent in peppers harvested 54 to 69 DAF. ß-galactosidase activity increased rapidly beginning 54 DAF and reached a peak by 89 DAF. Fruit firmness was highest (36 newtons) at 54 DAF and had decreased significantly by 69 DAF. Carbon dioxide production and chlorophyll content were highest in young pods harvested 20 DAF and decreased steadily thereafter. A climacteric increase of CO, was absent. There were two peaks in C2 H4 production: one associated with rapid fruit growth and the other with color change (61 to 69 DAF). Fruit harvested on the same day but at different developmental stages (green to red) were similar to those observed in fruit harvested over the season for the physiological characteristics tested. Separation of pepper fruit soluble proteins on SDS-PAGE demonstrated increased intensity in protein bands at 27, 35, and 40 kDa and decreased intensity of 51 kDa band as the fruit matured. Several biochemical processes appeared to be enhanced in Chile pepper fruit from 47 to 69 DAF.