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Jingbo Zhang and Duane P. Bartholomew

A simulation model of pineapple growth and development (CERES-Pineapple) was developed, using the structure of CERES-Maize and a heat unit model for pineapple inflorescence development. The model is process-oriented and incremented daily. It simulates the effects of planting date, plant population, plant size at planting and at forcing, and weather on pineapple crop growth and development. CERES-Pineapple was calibrated to field data collected from a plant population trial at Kunia, Hawaii, and validated using data from 11 plantings of pineapple grown in Hawaii. The model accurately simulated pineapple growth and development for most Hawaii conditions but underpredicted fruit yields for pineapple grown at high elevations. CERES-Pineapple also provides a frame-work for the conduct of pineapple research and has potential to serve as a decision aid for pineapple farmers.

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Jun Zhu, Duane P. Bartholomew, and Guillermo Goldstein

Despite the potential impact of rising global CO2 levels, only a limited number of studies have been conducted on the effects of ambient and elevated CO2 on plants having Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). To our knowledge, there are no studies for pineapple [Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.], the most commercially important CAM plant. Pineapple plants were grown at CO2 levels of ≈330 (ambient) and ≈730 (elevated) μmol·mol-1 in open-top chambers for 4 months. The mean air temperature in the chambers was ≈39 °C day/24 °C night. Average plant dry mass at harvest was 180 g per plant at elevated CO2 and 146 g per plant at ambient CO2. More biomass was partitioned to stem and root but less to leaf for plants grown at elevated CO2; leaf thickness was 11% greater at elevated than at ambient CO2. The diurnal difference in leaf titratable acidity (H+) at elevated CO2 reached 347 mmol·m-2, which was up to 42% greater than levels in plants grown in ambient CO2. Carbon isotopic discrimination (Δ) of plants was 3.75% at ambient CO2 and 3.17% at elevated CO2, indicating that CO2 uptake via the CAM pathway was enhanced more by elevated CO2 than uptake via the C3 pathway. The nonphotochemical quenching coefficient (qN) of leaves was ≈45% lower in the early morning for plants grown at elevated than at ambient CO2, while afternoon values were comparable. The qN data suggested that the fixation of external CO2 was enhanced by elevated CO2 in the morning but not in the afternoon when leaf temperature was ≥40 °C. We found no effect of CO2 levels on leaf N or chlorophyll content. Pineapple dry matter gain was enhanced by elevated CO2, mainly due to increased CO2 dark fixation in environments with day temperatures high enough to suppress C3 photosynthesis.

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Duane P. Bartholomew, Richard A. Hawkins, and Johnny A. Lopez

The date pineapple (Ananas comosus var. comosus) was introduced to Hawaii is not known, but its presence was first recorded in 1813. When American missionaries first arrived in Hawaii in 1820, pineapple was found growing wild and in gardens and small plots. The pineapple canning industry began in Baltimore in the mid-1860s and used fruit imported from the Caribbean. The export-based Hawaii pineapple industry was developed by an entrepreneurial group of California migrants who arrived in Hawaii in 1898 and the well-connected James D. Dole who arrived in 1899. The first profitable lot of canned pineapples was produced by Dole’s Hawaiian Pineapple Company in 1903 and the industry grew rapidly from there. Difficulties encountered in production and processing as the industry grew included low yields resulting from severe iron chlorosis and the use of low plant populations, mealybug wilt that devastated whole fields, inadequate machinery that limited cannery capacity, and lack of or poorly developed markets for the industry’s canned fruit. The major production problems were solved by public- and industry-funded research and innovation in the field and in the cannery. An industry association and industry-funded cooperative marketing efforts, initially led by James Dole, helped to expand the market for canned pineapple. Industry innovations were many and included: selection of ‘Smooth Cayenne’ pineapple as the most productive cultivar with the best quality fruit for canning; identification of the cause of manganese-induced iron chlorosis and its control with biweekly iron sulphate sprays; the use of mulch paper and the mechanization of its application, which increased yields by more than 20 t·ha−1; and the invention of the Ginaca peeler–corer machine, which greatly sped cannery throughput. Nematodes were also a serious problem for the industry, which resulted in the discovery and development of nematicides in the 1930s. As a result, by 1930 Hawaii led the world in the production of canned pineapple and had the world’s largest canneries. Production and sale of canned pineapple fell sharply during the world depression that began in 1929. However, the formation of an industry cartel to control output and marketing of canned pineapple, aggressive industry-funded marketing programs, and rapid growth in the volume of canned juice after 1933 restored industry profitability. Although the industry supported the world’s largest pineapple breeding program from 1914 until 1986, no cultivars emerged that replaced ‘Smooth Cayenne’ for canning. The lack of success was attributed in part to the superiority of ‘Smooth Cayenne’ in the field and the cannery, but also to the difficulty in producing defect-free progeny from crosses between highly heterozygous parents that were self-incompatible. Production of canned pineapple peaked in 1957, but the stage was set for the decline of the Hawaii industry when Del Monte, one of Hawaii’s largest canners, established the Philippine Packing Corporation (PPC) in the Philippines in the 1930s. The expansion of the PPC after World War II, followed by the establishment of plantations and canneries by Castle and Cooke’s Dole division in the Philippines in 1964 and in Thailand in 1972, sped the decline. The decline occurred mainly because foreign-based canneries had labor costs approximately one-tenth those in Hawaii. As the Hawaii canneries closed, the industry gradually shifted to the production of fresh pineapples. During that transition, the pineapple breeding program of the Pineapple Research Institute of Hawaii produced the MD-2 pineapple cultivar, now the world’s pre-eminent fresh fruit cultivar. However, the first and major beneficiary of that cultivar was Costa Rica where Del Monte had established a fresh fruit plantation in the late 1970s. Dole Food Co. and Maui Gold Pineapple Co. continue to produce fresh pineapples in Hawaii, mostly for the local market. All of the canneries eventually closed, the last one on Maui in 2007.

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Ren-Huang Wang, Yu-Mei Hsu, Duane P. Bartholomew, Subbiyan Maruthasalam, and Chin-Ho Lin

In Taiwan, the major yield constraint in pineapple cultivation is natural flowering, which occurs when daylengths are shorter and nights are cooler. This natural (precocious) flowering increases the cost of cultivation and reduces the percentage of fruits of marketable size. Two field experiments were conducted to evaluate the inhibitory potential of aviglycine [(S)-trans-2-amino-4-(2 aminoethoxy)-3-butenoic acid hydrochloride, AVG] on natural flowering of ‘Tainon 17’ pineapple plants during the 2003 to 2004 and 2004 to 2005 cropping seasons. In the 2003 to 2004 season, bolting in the control exceeded 80% on 2 Mar. 2004, whereas no bolting was observed in the treatments. Inhibition of bolting by aviglycine (AVG) was dependent on the concentration and frequency of application. Bolting was less than 40% when plants were treated in Nov. and Dec. 2003 with 500 mg·L−1 of AVG four times at 15-day intervals or with five applications made at 10-day intervals. For the 2004 to 2005 season, bolting of plants treated with 250 or 375 mg·L−1 AVG was delayed 4 weeks relative to the control, whereas bolting was delayed 7 weeks by four or five applications of 500 mg·L−1 of AVG applied at 10- or 15-day intervals. Both experiments showed that four to five applications of 500 mg·L−1 of AVG at 10- or 15-day intervals delayed inflorescence emergence relative to the control for the duration of the treatments. We assume control was maintained for 1 to 2 weeks after treatments stopped. Based on these results, the date AVG treatments stop can be used to estimate the duration of delay in flowering. AVG inhibits ethylene biosynthesis and has the potential to be effectively used to delay or completely control the problem of precocious flowering and associated crop losses in pineapple.

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Ching-San Kuan, Chih-Wen Yu, Mei-Li Lin, Hsin-Tszu Hsu, Duane P. Bartholomew, and Chin-Ho Lin

Natural flowering of pineapple is a serious problem for commercial growers of pineapple because it disrupts fruiting schedules, decreases harvesting efficiency and increases costs, and may reduce the percentage of marketable fruit. Aviglycine ([S]-trans-2-amino-4-(2 aminoethoxy)-3-butenoic acid hydrochloride), an inhibitor of ethylene biosynthesis, was applied as a foliar spray to evaluate its potential to prevent natural flowering in 1-year-old `Tainon 18' pineapple. Two experiments were conducted between 10 Oct. and 10 Apr. during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 production seasons. For the 2001-02 season, single or double applications of aviglycine at 100 mg L-1 had no significant effect on natural flowering. A double application of aviglycine at 500 mg L-1 first applied on 9 Nov. reduced flowering from 95.0% in the control to 51.3% when evaluated on 25 Feb. 2002. In the 2002-03 production season, triple applications of aviglycine applied at 20-day intervals beginning on 10 Nov. 2002 significantly reduced natural flowering when evaluated on 28 Mar. 2003. There was 95.8% flowering in the control, 64.6% with 250 and 375 mg L-1 aviglycine, and 50% with 500 mg L-1 aviglycine. Aviglycine has the potential to partially control precocious flowering of pineapple, which will reduce crop losses associated with such flowering.