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  • Author or Editor: Evangelos M. Sfakiotakis x
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Abstract

A method is described for the measurement of internal ethylene concentration in fruits on the tree. Ethylene levels in ‘Red Delicious’ fruits immediately after harvest were similar to those in fruits on the tree during development and ripening. The levels varied mostly between 0.02 to 0.15 ppm during the period from 83 to 140 days from bloom and sharply increased from 10 to 1000-fold within 5 days as autocatalytic ethylene production began. Ripening followed the upsurge in ethylene production. Isolating fruit from leaves by girdling plus defoliation of spur leaves hastened the increase in internal ethylene by approximately 1 month. Girdling or defoliating the spur did not markedly alter the onset of autocatalytic ethylene production compared to that observed by fruits on normal spurs. The data support the concept that fruits receive a ripening inhibitor from the leaves.

Open Access

Abstract

Ethylene and other olefinic compounds cause apples and other climacteric fruits to ripen. Propylene, which fruits do not produce, was employed to determine, 1) the stage of maturity apples must attain to autocatalytically produce ethylene, and 2) the effect of O2 tension on autocatalysis. ‘Red Delicious’ apples harvested at developmental stages representing 52, 58, 65, and 75% of maturity were gassed with propylene at concentrations of 0, 10, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 ppm for 1 week at 20°C. Propylene induced ethylene synthesis at all stages of maturity. Its ability to stimulate ethylene production, however, increased progressively with fruit maturation, although rate of production following treatment with 500 ppm propylene was constant. A shorter lag time to the onset of autocatalytic production was observed in more mature fruits which reflects a natural increase in sensitivity. Propylene administered at 6.5% O2 or less did not induce ethylene production, but an anaerobic atmosphere was necessary to completely inhibit ethylene synthesis in fruits once autocatalysis began.

Open Access

Ripening of detached mature-green and black-ripe olives (Olea europaea L., cv. Conservolea) was studied during storage at 0, 5, 10, or 20 °C in air or air plus 100-200 μL·L-1 propylene. Green olive skin h° remained unchanged after 24 days at 0 or 5 °C in air or air + propylene, while olives partially lost their green color at 10 °C and developed purple color at 20 °C together with a substantial flesh softening. Propylene partially delayed flesh softening only at 10 °C. Respiration of green and black olives increased with storage temperature. Black olives had higher respiration rate than green olives. Propylene had no substantial effect on green or black olive respiration rate, except for an increase in respiration and ripening rates of green olives kept at 20 °C. Ethylene production rate of air- or air + propylene-treated green olives was almost undetectable. Black olives had higher ethylene production rate than green olives and this rate significantly increased with storage temperature. Addition of propylene had only minor effect on ethylene production of black olives. No climacteric respiratory rise or autocatalytic ethylene production was observed in green and black olives.

Free access