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  • Author or Editor: George F. Kramer x
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Abstract

Prestorage temperature conditioning of zucchini squash (Cucurbita pepo L. cv. Ambassador) at 10 or 15C was effective in delaying the onset of chilling injury (surface pitting) during storage at 2.5 or 5.0C. Intermittent warming in cycles of 2 days of chilling followed by 1 day at 20C was also effective in minimizing surface pitting. One-half of the preconditioned squash stored at 5C still was marketable 16 days after harvest, as compared to only 8 days for the chilled control. Due to its simplicity, temperature preconditioning may have potential to become a commercially important technique for extending the shelf life of zucchini squash.

Open Access

Abstract

The rate of postharvest softening of ‘McIntosh’ apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) was reduced by storage in a 1% O2 atmosphere at 1 or 3.5C. Apples stored in controlled atmosphere (CA) also maintained higher levels of the polyamines putrescine (PUT), spermidine (SPD), and spermine (SPN) in both skin and flesh tissues than those stored in air. The levels of putrescine and spermidine increased by 2- to 6-fold in CA-stored apples, while spermine decreased, but remained 2- to 5-fold higher than in air-stored fruit at both temperatures. Polyamines were also found to inhibit the in vitro activity of the cell wall-degrading enzyme polygalacturonase (PG). SPD and SPN were more effective than PUT, with SPN possessing the greatest inhibitory activity. These results are consistent with a hypothesis that increased polyamine levels are involved in the beneficial effects of CA storage and that polyamine activity could include the inhibition of cell wall degradation.

Open Access

Pressure infiltration of `Golden Delicious' and `McIntosh' apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) with polyamides resulted in an immediate increase in firmness. `Golden Delicious' apples were 2.7 N (0.25 mM spermidine) to 6.7 N (1.0 mM spermine) firmer, while `McIntosh' apples were 2.2 N (0.25 mM spermidine) to 5.3 N (1.0 mM spermine) firmer than the water-treated control. During 28 weeks of storage at 0C, the differences between the polyamine-treated and water-treated apples were even larger. Similar results were observed with a 3% Ca treatment, but the Ca treatment reduced the rate of softening to a greater extent than did the polyamine treatments in `Golden Delicious'. Polyamides increased the endogenous levels of the polyamides infiltrated; however, the levels declined rapidly with time in storage. Both polyamine and Ca inhibited the development of chilling injury symptoms (brown core) in `McIntosh'. The influence of polyamines on ethylene production was negligible in both cultivars. The Ca treatment, however, inhibited ethylene evolution in `Golden Delicious'. Polyamides, thus, may affect apple softening through rigidification of cell walls rather than through interactions with ethylene metabolism.

Free access

Prestorage infiltration of `Golden Delicious' apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) with calcium (Ca) retarded texture changes during storage at 0C and inhibited ethylene production of the fruit at 20C. Infiltration of the fruit with the polyamines (PA) putrescine (PUT) or spermidine (SPD) also altered texture changes, but did not inhibit ethylene production. When the fruit were treated with Ca first and then with PA, cell wall-hound Ca concentrations increased 4-fold, but PA levels in the cell wall increased only slightly. When the fruit were treated with PA first and then with Ca, PA levels in the cell wall increased 3-fold, but Ca concentration increased only 2-fold. These results indicate that Ca and PA may he competing for the same binding sites in the cell wall and that the improvement of fruit quality during storage by these cations could involve strengthening of the cell wall.

Free access

Cucumis sativus L. (cvs. Poinsett and Ashley) plants were grown from seed in a growth chamber at a +10C (28/18) or a -10C (18/28) difference (DIF) between day temperature (DT) and night temperature (NT) on a 12-hour photoperiod for 24 days prior to ozone (O3) fumigation (3 hours at 0.5 umol·mol-1). Negative DIF, compared to +DIF, reduced plant height, node count, fresh weight, dry weight, and leaf area in both cultivars. Photosynthetic rate (Pn), chlorophyll concentration, and variable chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv) were lower and O3 injury and polyamine concentrations were higher at -DIF than at +DIF. Ozone fumigation generally increased leaf concentration of polyamines and reduced Pn, stomatal conductance, and chlorophyll fluorescence. `Poinsett' generally had a higher specific leaf mass and higher concentrations of chlorophyll a and polyamines than did `Ashley', but there was no cultivar difference in O3 injury, growth response, Pn, or stomatal conductance.

Free access