Nectarine fruit (Prunus persica (L) Batsch) cv. Fantasia, were ripened immediately after harvest (normal ripening), or stored for 6 weeks either continuously at 0°C or were intermittently warmed (IW) for 48 h at 20C after 2 and 4 weeks, and then ripened. Fruit subjected to IW ripened normally, whereas the continuously stored fruit developed mealiness during ripening. Normal ripening was associated with solubilization and depolymerization of pectic polymers and a net loss of galactose. Only limited pectic solubilization and removal of side chains occurred during ripening of mealy fruit. Pectic polymer polymerization occurred at each IW occasion continued during ripening after storage, but was not as extensive as in normally ripened fruit. Mealy fruit had high autolytic capacity, probably as a result of insoluble pectic polymers in the cell wall that were not solubilized during ripening. The release of uronic acid suggests that cool storage temperatures do not irreversibly inhibit polygalacturonase activity.
D.M. Dawson, L.D. Melton, D.M. Dawson, and C.B. Watkins
D.M. Dawson, C.B. Watkins, and L.D. Melton
Cell wall changes in `Fantasia' nectarines [Prunus persica (L) Batsch var. nectarina (Ait) maxim] were determined after storage at 0C with or without intermittent warming (at 20C at 2-week intervals) and after ripening. For comparison, fruit were examined at harvest and after ripening without storage. Fruit stored continuously at 0C for 6 weeks became mealy during ripening, whereas fruit subjected to intermittent warming ripened normally. Ripening immediately after harvest was associated with solubilization and subsequent depolymerization of pectic polymers and a net loss of galactosyl residues from the cell wall. No solubilization of pectic polymers from the cell wall occurred during storage of fruit at 0C. Mealy fruit, ripened after continuous storage at 0C, showed only limited solubilization of pectins and depolymerization, high relative molecular weight (M) polymers being predominant. During ripening after storage, pectic polymer solubilization was not as extensive in intermittently warmed fruit as in fruit undergoing normal ripening but solubilized polymers were depolymerized, low M uronic acid-rich polymers becoming predominant. Intermittent warming of fruit resulted in significant softening during storage, alleviating the development of mealiness by promotion of cell wall changes associated with normal ripening.
D.M. Olszyk, G. Kats, C.L. Morrison, P.J. Dawson, I. Gocka, J. Wolf, and C.R. Thompson
Three-year-old `Valencia' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] trees were exposed to air pollutants for 4. years in open-top field chambers to determine the chronic effects of ambient oxidants (primarily ozone) or sulfur dioxide (SO2) on fruit yield and quality and tree growth. Ozone concentrations averaged 0.012,0.040, and 0.075 ppm for 0800 to 2000 hr during April to October for filtered, half-ambient, and full ambient oxidant chambers. Sulfur dioxide was applied continuously at 0.09 ppm. Oxidant and SO2 effects were only marginally significant, as there was considerable variability in response among individual trees and between years. Across two “on” production years, yields were 31% lower with ambient oxidants, 11% lower with half-ambient oxidants, and 29% lower with sulfur dioxide compared to filtered air. Number of fruit per tree was reduced by ambient oxidants and SO2. Individual fruit weights were reduced by ambient oxidants, but no other fruit quality characteristics showed definite responses to ambient oxidants or SO2. Ambient oxidants had no effect on yield or quality of fruit during one “off' production year. Neither ambient oxidants nor SO, affected tree growth.