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Peter C. Andersen and Charles A. Sims

The influence of bilateral cordon (BC) and cane training systems and level of pruning severity on vegetative and reproductive characteristics of Vitis hybrid `Suwannee' were determined from 1987 to 1989. In 1987, yield and quality were similar on BC- and cane-trained vines. In 1988, shoot count, yield, and quality were similar regardless of training system and pruning severity (50, 70, or 90 nodes per vine). When data from both training systems were combined, yield was related to the number of shoots. Vines pruned more severely compensated by producing more shoots from non-count (non-node) positions on the canes, cordon, or spurs. Similarly, in 1989 yield and berry quality were not affected by training system or levels of pruning severity (50, 70, 90, or 110 nodes), although berry weight was affected by training system, and shoot count and shoot length were affected by level of pruning severity. Interactive effects of training system and pruning level were not significant in either year. An analysis of combined data for 1989 indicated that yield was affected by the number of nodes and shoots. Thus, `Suwannee' may be trained to the BC system, which is more readily adapted to mechanization. Pruning to a specific number of nodes per vine was not critical.

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Fernando Maul, Steven A. Sargent, Elizabeth A. Baldwin, and Charles Sims

`Agriset-761' and `CPT-5' tomato fruits were harvested at green stage and subsequently exposed to a postharvest exogenous ethylene-air mixture (100 ppm C2H4 at 20°C). Tomatoes with visual symptoms of ripening (breaker stage = <10% red coloration) were removed from ethylene treatment after 1, 3, and 5 days and were transferred to 20°C and 85% RH. At “table-ripe” stage (full red coloration and 4-mm fruit deformation after 5 sec@9.8N), whole fruit samples were analyzed for difference/discrimination sensory evaluations, aroma volatile profiles, and chemical composition. Flavor of fruits gassed for 1 day was rated significantly different than that of fruits gassed for 3 or 5 days (n = 25 panelists) for both cultivars. Several panelists noted the perception of “rancid” and “metallic” tastes, and “lingering” aftertaste in fruits gassed for 5 days. Chemical composition assays showed that flavor differences could be partially due to a significant increase in pH values between fruits gassed for 1 and 5 days (4.23 and 4.34, respectively for `Agriset-761') and a significant decrease in titratable acidity (0.91% and 0.73%, respectively, for `Agriset-761'; 1.04% and 0.86%, respectively, for `CPT-5'). No significant differences in soluble solids content or total sugars were found in any treatments for either cultivar. `Agriset-761' showed significant increases in the concentrations of acetone, hexanal, 2+3 methylbutanol, and a decrease in 2-isobutylthiazole, whereas, `CPT-5' fruits showed significant increases in hexanal, 2+3 methylbutanol, trans-2-heptenal, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, 2-isobutylthiazole, β-ionone, geranylacetone, and a decrease is ethanol concentration. In both cultivars, these significant differences in important aroma volatile compounds could be of enormous relevance in the perception of off-flavor/off-odors.

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Craig K. Chandler, Daniel E. Legard, and Charles A. Sims

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Angelos I. Deltsidis, Charles A. Sims, and Jeffrey K. Brecht

Harvesting before ripening initiation (i.e., mature green) may negatively affect the flavor of fresh tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) even though the ripening process off the vine is physiologically the same as that on the plant. Low temperature storage at or below the putative chilling injury (CI) threshold can also have detrimental effects on fresh tomato flavor regardless of the developmental stage of the fruit at harvest, but sensitivity to CI declines with ripening. Controlled atmospheres (CA) using reduced oxygen and elevated carbon dioxide partial pressures can extend the shelf life (SL) of tomatoes while possibly minimizing the negative effects of low temperatures. In this study, we explored the possibility that a combination of temperature and CA could be used to achieve similar SL for pink-harvested tomatoes as has been found in other studies with green-harvested fruit while avoiding the negative effects of CI on sensory quality. Consumer panels were given samples of pink-harvested tomatoes after they had reached the red ripeness stage in terms of surface hue following storage for 7 days in air or CA at 7.5, 15, or 20 °C followed by 2–7 days ripening in air at 20 °C. Exposing pink tomatoes to 7.5 °C before ripening to the full-red stage at 20 °C negatively affected fruit sensory quality, holding fruit constantly at 20 °C until they reached the full-red stage resulted in better quality for one taste panel, whereas there was no difference in another taste panel. The time to reach the full-red stage was extended by CA. Sensory quality of air- and CA-stored fruit was similar at the nonchilling temperatures of 15 and 20 °C. Pink stage tomato fruit stored in CA at 7.5 °C for 7 days did not attain full red color within the subsequent 7 days in air at 20 °C.

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Charles E. Barrett, Xin Zhao, Charles A. Sims, Jeffrey K. Brecht, Eric Q. Dreyer, and Zhifeng Gao

Grafting has many purposes in vegetable production. It is used for control of soilborne pathogens, season extension in protected culture, and improving productivity in cucurbitaceous and solanaceous crops. Consumers desire heirloom tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) for their perceived excellent flavor. Heirloom tomatoes are susceptible to many soilborne diseases and may benefit from grafting onto more robust, disease-resistant rootstocks especially under organic production. In this two-year study, heirloom tomato ‘Brandywine’ was grafted onto tomato hybrid ‘Survivor’ and interspecific tomato hybrid ‘Multifort’ rootstocks to determine the effects of grafting on fruit quality attributes such as soluble solids content (SSC), pH, total titratable acidity (TTA), and vitamin C. Nongrafted and self-grafted ‘Brandywine’ tomatoes were included as controls. Consumer sensory tests were also conducted to assess the effects of grafting on overall appearance and acceptability, firmness, tomato flavor, and sweetness. No significant differences in vitamin C, SSC, pH, or TTA were found in fruit from the nongrafted, self-grafted, and ‘Brandywine’ grafted with the two rootstocks either year. The SSC of all tomatoes in 2010 was lower than that of 2011. In 2010, fruit from ‘Brandywine’ grafted onto the rootstock ‘Survivor’ was scored significantly lower in appearance, acceptability, and flavor than the nongrafted ‘Brandywine’ treatment. All grafted treatments resulted in a significant decrease in acceptability ratings in the consumer sensory test. No significant differences were observed between nongrafted and grafted treatments in 2011. Consumers who reported more frequent consumption of fresh tomato tended to give lower ratings for most sensory attributes evaluated. Harvest time and fruit ripeness need to be considered in future research to better understand the influence of grafting with selected rootstocks on fruit composition and sensory attributes of heirloom tomatoes.

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Craig K. Chandler, Bielinski M. Santos, Natalia A. Peres, Celine Jouquand, Anne Plotto, and Charles A. Sims

There is a need for a strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) cultivar to complement ‘Strawberry Festival’ (Chandler et al., 2000) yields, currently the primary cultivar in Florida and an important cultivar in other winter and early spring production areas around the world. ‘Strawberry Festival’ has become a grower favorite because it is a sturdy upright plant that is easy to harvest with relatively well-distributed yield throughout the season and produces very few nonmarketable fruit. It has become a supermarket favorite because its fruit are attractive, fit well in 450-g clamshell containers, and have a long

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Ernesto A. Brovelli, Jeffrey K. Brecht, Wayne B. Sherman, and Charles A. Sims

The notion that ethylene production levels in nonmelting-flesh (NMF) peach (Prunus persica L.) fruit are normally lower than those in melting-flesh (MF) fruit is refuted in our study. In fact, NMF fruit (`Oro A' and FL 86-28C) usually produced higher levels of ethylene than did MF fruit (FL 90-20 and `TropicBeauty'). In both MF and NMF peaches, the rate of ethylene production, rather than the respiration rate, provided a good indication of the developmental stage of the fruit at harvest. Ethylene content in fruit on the tree followed a climacteric pattern, with the level in `Oro A' (NMF) and FL 90-20 (MF) peaking at 50 and 12 μL·L–1, respectively. The respiratory climacteric was not apparent in either `Oro A' or FL 90-20, and levels of CO2 were similar in both genotypes.

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Ernesto A. Brovelli, Jeffrey K. Brecht, Wayne B. Sherman, and Charles A. Sims

A study to compare the response to postharvest chilling (4 °C) for up to 3 weeks of melting-flesh (MF)—FL 90-20, FL 90-21W, and FL 91-16—and nonmelting-flesh (NMF)—`Oro A', FL 90-35C, and FL 90-47C—peach (Prunus persica L.) genotypes revealed that MF fruit were notably more susceptible to the development of mealiness than NMF types. Cell separation in mealy fruit was demonstrated by the release of mesocarp cells to an aqueous medium, allowing determination of mealiness severity. At a histological level, chilling brought about an impressive expansion of the intercellular spaces in MF mesocarp tissue but did not affect NMF fruit. A decrease in flesh electrical resistance after 1 week of chilling was observed only in MF fruit. However, electrical resistance increased in MF and NMF fruit following 2 and 3 weeks at 4 °C. Electrical resistance also decreased with ripening of MF fruit but did not change when NMF fruit were ripened. Unlike NMF fruit, the MF genotypes FL 90-21W and FL 91-16 showed an increase in respiration rate due to chilling. The rate of ethylene production decreased after 1 week at 4 °C in MF and NMF genotypes. However, two MF and two NMF genotypes exhibited rising ethylene levels after the second week of storage at 4 °C, while ethylene production in one MF and one NMF genotype continued to decline.

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Ernesto A. Brovelli, Jeffrey K. Brecht, Wayne B. Sherman, and Charles A. Sims

Potential maturity indices were determined for two melting-flesh (FL 90-20 and `TropicBeauty') and two nonmelting-flesh (`Oro A'and Fl 86-28C) peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] genotypes. A range of developmental stages was obtained by conducting two harvests and separating the fruit based on diameter. Fruit in each category were divided into two groups. One group was used to determine potential maturity indices: soluble solids, titratable acidity, soluble solids to titratable acidity ratio, peel and flesh color on the cheeks and blossom end, cheek and blossom-end firmness, ethylene production, and respiration rate. The other group was stored at 0 °C for 1 week and ripened at 20 °C for 2 days to simulate handling conditions and presented to a trained sensory panel, which rated the fruit for three textural aspects (hardness, rubberiness, and juiciness) and six flavor aspects (sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and green, peachy, and overripe character). Principal component (PC) analysis was used to consolidate the results of the descriptive sensory evaluation into a single variable that could be correlated with the objective measurements at harvest. The attributes that best correlated with the first sensory PC of each genotype, and thus are promising maturity indices, were as follows: for FL 90-20, peel hue, peel L, and cheek firmness; for `TropicBeauty', peel L, cheek firmness, and blossom-end firmness; for `Oro A', cheek firmness, blossom-end firmness, and cheek chroma; and for 86-28C, blossom-end firmness, cheek hue, and cheek firmness.

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Dennis J. Gray, Zhijian T. Li, Sadanand A. Dhekney, Donald L. Hopkins, and Charles A. Sims

‘Southern Jewel’ (Vitis rotundifolia Michx.) is a new muscadine grape cultivar being released by the University of Florida that is a high-yielding, disease–resistant, large black-fruited variety. It has the unique characteristic of producing fruit in bunches of six to 12 berries that strongly adhere to the peduncle (Fig. 1). It has an excellent taste and a crunchy texture with a palatable skin, making it well-suited for fresh fruit consumption.

‘Southern Jewel’ muscadine grape.

Origin

‘Southern Jewel’ originated from a cross between Granny Val, a self-fertile cultivar with large (9 to 10 g) bronze berries,