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Laurie S. Weiss, John B. Bamberg, and Jiwan P. Palta

Solanum acaule (acl) and Solanum commersonii (cmm) represent the extremes of frost tolerance and cold acclimation ability among potato species. We have combined these species with cultivated S. tuberosum (tbr) to develop a potato with desired tuber traits and a high degree of frost tolerance. For this purpose diploid cmm was made 4x and crossed with naturally 4x acl. The F1 and F2 appear to exhibit hybrid vigor for vine growth for flowering, but none had frost tolerance greater than the parents. The F1 and F2 were crossed with S. tuberosum ssp. andigena and Katahdin via 2n eggs resulting in 6x 3-way hybrids. These hybrids were evaluated both in the field and laboratory for frost tolerance and acclimation ability. Results showed an increase of 1°C of frost tolerance and 2°C increase in cold acclimation capacity in the hybrids as compared to the sensitive tbr parents. Some of the 6x (3-way) hybrids produced significant tubers but yield and earliness needs much improvement. These results demonstrate that it should be possible to move both non acclimated freezing tolerance and cold acclimation ability from wild to cultivated species and offer exciting opportunities to enhance potato production in frost prone areas in the world.

Supported by USDA/NRI grant 91-3700-6636 to J.P.P. and J.B.B..

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R. Porat, B. Weiss, I. Zipori, and A. Dag

The local guava (Psidium guajava) variety cultivated in Israel, named Ben Dov, emits a strong odor and suffers from a short postharvest life. To address these problems, we initiated a guava breeding program, and identified two new varieties, the pink-flesh King and the white/yellowish-flesh Omri, that have much better storage lives and emit fewer odors. Physiological characterization of their ripening process revealed that the traditional variety Ben Dov exhibited a classic climacteric behavior, whereas the new variety King had a suppressed-climacteric phenotype, and Omri was apparently nonclimacteric and did not exhibit any increases in respiration and ethylene production rates during ripening. Furthermore, differing concentrations of the ethylene action inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) were required to inhibit ripening in the various varieties: a high 1-MCP concentration of 500 nL·L−1 was required to delay ripening and to prolong postharvest storage life of the climacteric variety Ben Dov; a moderate concentration of 250 nL·L−1 inhibited ripening of the suppressed-climacteric variety King; and a low concentration of just 100 nL·L−1 was sufficient to inhibit ripening of the nonclimacteric variety Omri. The results of this study indicate that different guava varieties may pursue distinctive climacteric behaviors: the suppressed-climacteric variety and, to a greater extent, the nonclimacteric variety, have longer storage lives and are more sensitive to 1-MCP than the traditional variety.

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R. Porat, B. Weiss, L. Cohen, A. Daus, and E. Cohen

`Oroblanco' is an early-maturing pummelo-grapefruit hybrid (Citrus grandis × C. paradisi). The fruit of this cultivar are usually picked in October and are marketed while their peel color is still green. However, during long-term storage, the fruit turns yellow, and loses much of their commercial value. In a previous study, we found that application of gibberellic acid and low storage temperatures of 2 °C (35.6 °F) markedly reduced the rate of degreening. However, `Oroblanco' fruit are sensitive to chilling injuries, and thus could not be stored at 2 °C for long periods. In the present study, we examined the possible application of intermittent warming (IW) and temperature conditioning (TC) treatments, in order to retain the green fruit color during long-term cold storage but without enhancing the development of chilling injuries. It was found, that following storage at 2 °C, either with or without IW and TC, the fruit retained green color up to 16 weeks, whereas at 11 °C (51.8 °F) fruit turned yellow after 8 weeks. However, untreated fruit held continuously at 2 °C developed 40, 51, and 68% chilling injuries after 8, 12, and 16 weeks, respectively. IW (storage at cycles of 3 weeks at 2 °C + 1 week at 11 °C) reduced the amount of chilling injuries to only 5, 7 and 11% after the same periods of time, respectively. TC [a pre-storage treatment for 7 days at 16 °C (60.8 °F) before continuous storage at 2 °C] effectively reduced the development of chilling injuries to only 5% after 8 weeks of storage, but was ineffective in reducing chilling damage after longer storage periods. Because chilling damaged fruit is prone to decay, the IW and TC treatments also reduced the incidence of decay development during storage. The IW and TC treatments did not affect juice total soluble solids and acid percentages, but did affect fruit taste and the amounts of off-flavor volatiles emitted from the juice. Taste panels indicated that the taste score of untreated control fruit stored at 11 °C gradually decreased during long-term storage, and that this decrease was more severe in chilling damaged fruit stored continuously at 2 °C. The taste of IW-treated fruit remained acceptable even after 16 weeks of storage, and TC-treated fruit remained acceptable for up to 12 weeks. Fruit taste scores were inversely correlated with the concentrations of ethanol and acetaldehyde detected in the juice headspace.

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Bjorn H. Karlsson, Jiwan P. Palta, Laurie S. Weiss, James F. Harbage, and John B. Bamber

Cold-induced changes in gene expression have been demonstrated in a number of species that vary in freezing tolerance and acclimation capacity. Relative freezing tolerance was measured based on ion leakage for both nonacclimated and acclimated S. commersonii and S. cardiophyllum parents, F1 and backcross progeny segregating for cold tolerance and acclimation capacity. Western blot analyses showed increase in a dehydrin band (47 kD)(antisera courtesy of T. Close) following cold acclimation of cold tolerant S. commersonii, and a slight increase in cold sensitive S. cardiophyllum. Expression of 47 kD cosegregated with non acclimated freezing tolerance but not with acclimated freezing tolerance. Our results show that (i) expression of dehydrins is a heritable trait in the Solanum diploid population, (ii) there is no direct relationship between relative freezing tolerance and the presence or absence of dehydrm protein following cold acclimation and (iii) based on assays measuring the residual activity of the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzyme following freezing, the cryoprotective influence of `boiling stable' proteins was species dependent and is related to the freezing tolerance of the species. Supported by USDA/NRI grant 91-3700-6636 to J.P.P. and J.B.B..