Oxygen uptake and glycosidase activities were examined in normal and granulated juice vesicles of several citrus fruit. Oxygen uptake was low in normal juice vesicles isolated from freshly harvested `Lee' tangelos [Citrus reticulate Blanco cv. Clementine × (Citrus paradisi Macf. cv. Duncan × Citrus reticulate Blanco cv. Dancy)] and stored `Dancy' tangerine (C. reticulate Blanco) and `Marsh' grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) (35.7, 17.9, and 11.6 μl O2/hr per g fresh weight, respectively), but was 2- to 3-fold higher in granulated juice vesicles. As severity of granulation increased in grape. fruit, O2 uptake increased. Oxygen uptake in normal and disordered juice vesicles of all citrus fruit examined was reduced to nondetectable levels with 0.1 mM KCN and was insensitive to salicylhydroxamic acid. α - and β -galactosidase and α- and β -glucosidase activities were present in extracts of normal grapefruit juice vesicles (123, 214, 51, and 25 nmol·hr-1·g-1 fresh weight, respectively) and was 2- to 3-fold higher in extracts of granulated tissue. α- and β -mannosidase activities, nondetectable in normal juice vesicle extracts, were present in extracts from granulated tissue. The results suggest that increased metabolic activity occurs in granulated juice vesicles and the energy produced may be used to support cell wall synthesis and modification. Increases in O2 uptake and glycosidase activities correlate well with observed symptoms of section-drying in citrus.
1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) is a gaseous ethylene-binding inhibitor used to control or delay ethylene-related postharvest effects in a range of horticultural commodities. The potential for preharvest applications of 1-MCP to prevent unwanted defoliation using ethephon to loosen mature citrus fruit is presented. Although there was no difference in mature fruit loosening by ethephon + 1-MCP treatments, 1-MCP reduced defoliation caused by ethephon. The gaseous nature of 1-MCP is an impediment to uniform application and consistent efficacy. A sprayable 1-MCP formulation would be of great value for preharvest use in many horticultural crops.
Temporal studies were conducted from mid- to late-harvest season of `Ruby Red' grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) to evaluate the effect of on- and off-tree storage, fruit size, and juice vesicle position on the development of granulation. Juice vesicle fresh and dry masses were highest at the stem and stylar positions of the fruit section and were not affected significantly by time of harvest or by storage. Juice vesicles isolated from each position were subjectively evaluated for the presence of granulation. Granulation was highest in stylar juice vesicles obtained from large fruit (≈600 g) that were harvested late in the season (March and May) and stored in air at 21 °C for 60 days. Large fruit harvested in March and May and examined immediately, and fruit harvested in January and stored for 60 days had low granulation scores. Thus, fruit remaining on the tree until May are less susceptible to the disorder than those harvested in March and held in storage until May. Levels of alcohol-insoluble solids (AIS), largely composed of pectins and other cell wall materials, were significantly higher in juice vesicles that were granulated. The results suggest that storage itself was not responsible for the marked accumulation of AIS in granulated juice vesicles. Rather, some interaction of fruit size with maturation, as well as other factors such as tree age and rootstock, likely contributed to the development of granulation.
Plant growth regulators (PGRs) play important roles in the way plants grow and develop. Myriad processes important to horticultural crops are regulated by PGRs. Changes in the presence, balance, and distribution of PGRs communicate developmental, stress-related, or environmental cues that alter growth. Short-distance communication involves changes in biosynthesis or metabolic conversion, whereas longer-distance communication may also require export and translocation of PGRs, their precursors or metabolites. Examples are presented that demonstrate PGR communication between roots and shoots in horticultural commodities. For example, increased duration and intensity of flooding stress can result in synthesis of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), precursor of the PGR ethylene, in roots. ACC transported to the shoot through the transpiration stream is converted to ethylene and causes leaf epinasty. Roots sense the onset of water stress and can communicate the need to close leaf stomata by altering abscisic acid (ABA) levels in the shoot. Daylength and temperature regulate synthesis and transport of gibberellins, which promote stem elongation and stolon formation and inhibit tuberization in potato. Outgrowth of axillary buds following the decapitation of the apical meristem is dependent on synthesis and transport of cytokinin from root to the axillary buds as well as the balance of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) cytokinin, and additional messengers. Current research in the field of long-distance communication within plants is uncovering novel messengers and altering our view of the central roles for PGRs in such signaling.
To successfully use abscission agents for ‘Valencia’ sweet orange mechanical harvesting throughout the harvest season, unwanted flower, fruitlet, and leaf drop must be assessed and minimized. Ethephon (400 mg·L−1), 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP; 5 mm), ethephon + 1-MCP, 5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-1H-pyrazole (CMNP; 200 mg·L−1), and a kinetic adjuvant control [0.15% (v/v)] were applied to ‘Valencia’ branches at various times from full bloom in Mar. 2006 to the end of full bloom in Mar. 2008. Effects of these treatments on fruit detachment force (FDF) and abscission of developing and mature fruit, flowers, and leaves were recorded. Three separate response periods to abscission agent applications were observed: the first spanned the first 100 days after bloom (DAB) and was characterized by high initial response followed by decreasing sensitivity; the second spanned between 100 and 225 DAB and was characterized by little to no response; and the third spanned from 225 DAB to harvest and was characterized by a gain in sensitivity. Young fruitlets in the first response period were highly sensitive to ethephon but were less sensitive to CMNP or ethephon + 1-MCP. Mature fruit in the third response period were highly sensitive to CMNP and less sensitive to ethephon or ethephon + 1-MCP. The application of ethephon resulted in high leaf abscission and showed no clear sensitivity pattern throughout both cropping years. CMNP or ethephon + 1-MCP application caused minimal leaf abscission. The same abscission agent treatments were applied on whole tree canopies 6 and 28 DAB in Mar. 2007. Application date had no significant effect on the measured parameters. Although ethephon application induced high initial leaf drop, leaf area indices determined 7 months after any compound application were not significantly different. However, subsequent 2008 yield in trees sprayed with ethephon in 2007 was significantly less, whereas 2008 flower number was higher. The results indicate a complex interaction of fruitlet abscission and leaf loss during the first response period contributed to yield reduction and increased flower number in ethephon-treated trees.
Chlorophyll fluorescence and photochemical and nonphotochemical quenching parameters were measured in 20 genotypes of Citrus spp. or relatives grown in the greenhouse and commercial ‘Valencia’ sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) trees at two Florida locations. The purpose was to determine the utility of measurements for early huanglongbing [HLB (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus)] detection in asymptomatic trees and to examine the leaf response to HLB infection. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-negative healthy and PCR-positive symptomatic, asymptomatic, and distant asymptomatic leaves were used for fluorescence analysis using a portable chlorophyll fluorometer. Greenhouse-grown genotypes were separated into mild, moderate, and severe symptom groups based on leaf mottling, color, and size. In general, mild symptom genotypes were characterized by increased photosystem II (PSII) excitation pressure and unregulated heat dissipation and decreased regulated heat dissipation, whereas moderate and severe symptom genotypes increased loss of photosynthetic efficiency and increased unregulated and regulated heat dissipation. Distant asymptomatic leaves could be distinguished from healthy ones in moderate and severe symptom genotypes by increased total and regulated heat dissipation measurements. In the field, overall photosynthetic efficiency and total regulated heat dissipation measurements could distinguish between healthy and asymptomatic ‘Valencia’ sweet orange leaves at the location with slow or more recent infection, but not at the location where infection appeared to progress faster or was of longer duration. Starch content followed a similar pattern. The results indicate that no single measurement uniquely described the relationship between HLB and the host in asymptomatic and healthy leaves, but accuracy of field-based detection could be strengthened by a combination of total nonphotochemical quenching, overall photosynthetic efficiency, starch content, and PCR analyses. Chlorophyll fluorescence and quenching measurements suggest a PSII-based explanation for, and temperature dependency of, leaf symptom development.
Mature and immature `Valencia' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] and immature `Valencia' orange and `Tahiti' lime (Citrus latifolia Tan.) fruit with attached pedicels were treated with 8 μL·L-1 ethylene for periods up to 24 hours. Endo-β-1,4-glucanase (cellulase) activity and gene expression were determined in fruit abscission zones during and after ethylene exposure. Cellulase activities were not detected in mature `Valencia' orange and immature `Tahiti' lime fruit abscission zones immediately following harvest and after 6 hours of ethylene treatment. After 12 hours of ethylene treatment, cellulase activity increased and was highest after 24 hours. Cellulase gene expression preceded the rise in cellulase activity and was detectable after 6 hours of ethylene treatment, but then declined after 12 hours. Following transfer to air storage, abscission zone cellulase activity in mature `Valencia' fruit remained high, whereas activity in immature `Tahiti' fruit declined. After 168 hours air storage, activity in abscission zones of mature `Valencia' fruit decreased slightly, but activity in abscission zones of immature `Tahiti' lime fruit increased to the highest level. Expression of abscission zone cellulase gene Cel-a1 in abscission zones of mature `Valencia' fruit markedly increased after transfer to air and was highest after 48 hours air storage. Cel-a1 expression returned to low levels after 168 hours of air storage, but expression of cellulase gene Cel-b1 remained at low levels throughout the air storage period. Expression of Cel-a1 and Cel-b1 declined in fruit abscission zones of immature `Valencia' and `Tahiti' lime fruit upon transfer to air. After 168 hours of air storage, expression of Cel-a1 again rose to high levels but Cel-b1 remained low. The results suggest that differences in cellulase activity and gene expression measured in mature and immature fruit abscission zones during ethylene treatment and subsequent air storage may, in part, explain the differential response of mature and immature fruit to abscission agents.
Ca2+ content in cell wall-middle lamella (CW–ML) areas of outer and inner pericarp, placenta, and gel parenchyma of ripening tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cvs. Celebrity and Jumbo) and mesocarp of ripening peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch cv. Georgia Belle] was determined by energy dispersive (EDS) X-ray microanalysis. Ca2+ increased from 1.50 to 6.95 mg·g–1 dry weight in CW–ML of outer pericarp and 0.98 to 2.60 mg·g–1 dry weight in CW–ML of inner pericarp during ripening. Ca2+ content remained constant in tomato placenta and peach mesocarp, and was undetectable in tomato gel parenchyma throughout ripening. CW–ML of peach mesocarp had lower Ca2+ content than tomato pericarp and placenta at all ripening stages, but total peach uronic acid content was 2.5 times greater. Pectin methylesterase (PME) activity increased in tomato pericarp as fruit ripened, but remained low and unchanged in placenta and gel parenchyma. PME treatment of pericarp increased amounts of CW–ML Ca2+ in the breaker stage but not in the green mature stage. The results indicate that increased amounts of Ca2+ are bound to CW–ML of tomato pericarp as ripening occurs but not in placenta or peach mesocarp. Pectin deesterification and wall softening during ripening may in part be factors that control the presence and amount of CW–ML Ca2+.