At each annual meeting of the Society a number of papers are presented poorly. Not the only offenders are inexperienced graduate students and junior horticulturists. Most of us share some blame - and should do something about it!
Communication of research results in an accurate, intelligible manner in as much a part of research project as the experiments themselves. Otherwise the task is incomplete and the cost unjustified. Hence, the quality of a manuscript destined for publication should receive as much attention as do the design and execution of experiments.
Space in journals is costly; the 70 sq inches of usable space on a page of HortScience costs $115—$1.64 per sq inch—when printing, mailing, reprint, and overhead costs are considered. These costs must be shared by the Society and the author of a paper, or his institution. Thus, papers should be planned to get the maximum amount of clear information into the least amount of space. Brevity and quality are not necessarily synonymous; neither are they incompatible
Olive oil application during an approximate 10-day period following the time at which all drupelets within ‘Mission’ fig fruits had turned red was effective in stimulating fruit growth and maturity. Olive oil was found to yield ethylene, particularly when exposed to solar irradiation, and it is this degradation product that undoubtedly is the stimulative agent.
Success in presenting a paper at meetings of the Society requires that slides be of high quality and properly used. A paper has only one purpose- to inform. A slide has only one purpose- to portray information for quick understanding.
Since World War II, the news media have occasionally carried stories claiming unusually long shelf lives for irradiated fruits and vegetables, often at room temperature. The biochemistry and physiology of senescence make these claims biologically absurd. True, an uncritical review of the “scientific” literature prior to 1964 might have led one to believe that irradiation had a commercial potential for a wide variety of commodities. Many studies were of questionable validity, however. Products were sealed in airtight containers, physiological state (maturity) was ignored, quality evaluation was ignored or at best subjective, sample size was inadequate for statistical treatment, dosimetry was not reliably determined, geometry of radiation distribution into the product seemed highly variable, pathological studies were not quantitative, and often not even qualitative, and experiments were stationary, precluding exposure of the commodity to the injury associated with transport and marketing. Our studies, in contrast, covering 15 years and designed to avoid these criticisms, have led us to conclude that irradiation has technical promise for but few commodities‐‐and that economic feasibility reduces possible application even further.
The air transport of perishable commodities has increased markedly in recent years. A potential for an even greater volume of business is found in reduced rates and improvements in aircraft and handling facilities.
Growth-regulating substances have been used extensively on horticultural crops to increase fruit set and prevent fruit drop. Several investigators have observed that preharvest application of growth regulators such as 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid may affect fruit maturity and ripening (Stewart, 4). This raised the question about the effects of the postharvest treatment of fruits with grbwth regulators.
Gas exchange occurs freely between ambient air and tissues adjacent to the pit of fruits of apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) and peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] even when the 2 ends of the fruit are waxed. The route of exchange is thus via flesh and epidermis. Oxygen deficiency is not likely a factor in high-temperature injury in these fruits.
Gamma irradiation up to 100 Kilorad (Krad) caused no immediate visual damage to fruits of avocado (Persea americana Mill.). Twenty Krad or more stimulated a climacteric-like rise in respiratory rate. Rates of ethylene (C2H4) production were related directly to dose up to 40 Krad. Ten and 40 Krad delayed the climacteric peak for 3 days. Softening was delayed by 10 Krad and hastened by 40 and 100 Krad. At 100 Krad, ripening was lacking and the fruit severely injured. No benefit remained from any dose after 3 weeks of storage. Storage reduced the time required for ripening by 2 days, and enhanced the development of injury symptoms and pigment degradation.
At any stage of the ripeness of ‘Bartlett’ pear fruits, subsequent ripening was inhibited if the fruits were warmed to 40°C. Both production of, and sensitivity to, ethylene (C2H4) were almost totally suppressed. Even at 30°C, C2H4 production was greatly reduced in both early- and late-season fruit. Unless treated with C2H4, early-season fruit failed to ripen at 30°C although late-season fruit ripened spontaneously, presumably because of high internal concentrations of the gas. In both cases ripening was characterized by a watery breakdown of the floral end of the fruit.
At 40° and 50°C, respiratory rates declined progressively unless the fruits were treated with C2H4, whereupon a stimulation occurred although ripening was unaffected.
Gas exchange was not limiting at temperatures as high as 50°C, even when the ends of the fruits were sealed with paraffin wax. Maximum modification of the internal atmosphere of any individual fruit resulted in 15.7% O2 and 7.2% CO2. Ripening of fruits held at 20°C in that atmosphere was delayed about 3 days, presumably via mild competitive CO2 inhibition of C2H4 action.
We conclude that failure of ‘Bartlett’ pears to ripen at 40°C results from lack of C2H4 production and loss of sensitivity to the gas. The mechanisms are unknown.