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- Author or Editor: Andrés Mayorga-Gómez x
Bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) are ranked eighth in value for vegetable production in the United States (). Due to the high value of bell peppers, disorders such as blossom-end rot (BER) can cause significant losses in yield by up to 35% for growers. BER is the symptom of a calcium (Ca2+) deficiency that may occur during periods of cell expansion when the supply of Ca2+ may be lower than demand. In this study, we determined the temporal patterns of the fruit Ca2+concentration ([Ca2+]) and accumulation in three separate studies under field and greenhouse conditions. In the three experiments, [Ca2+] during fruit development showed varied patterns: it remained constant, decreased transiently during the cell expansion phase, or displayed a more gradual sustained decrease. However, in the three experiments, fruit Ca2+ accumulation increased during development as fruit size increased. In two experiments, the distal part of the fruit had lower [Ca2+] than the proximal end. However, there was no correlation between [Ca2+] in various fruit sections with BER incidence. Seeds and placental tissue had increased [Ca2+] and several other macro- and micronutrients; this spatial distribution of Ca2+ coupled with subcellular Ca2+ distribution should be explored in future studies. The temporal pattern of Ca2+ accumulation in this study suggests that fruit Ca2+ uptake continues throughout fruit development. Therefore, Ca2+ application during bloom and early fruit development may prevent or minimize Ca2+ deficiency disorders in bell pepper.