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  • Author or Editor: Janyce K. Truett x
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Postharvest treatments designed to enhance the vase life of cut Gloriosa rothschildiana flowers were tested. Vase life was significantly extended by the germicides 8-HQC (250 mg·liter-1), DICA (50 mg·liter-1), and Physan-20 (50 mg·liter-1). Germicides acted primarily by improving solution uptake. Sucrose, either as a continuous treatment (of 2% or 5% w/v), or as a 24-hour pulse (20%), significantly enhanced vase life, primarily by enhancing the development of immature buds and delaying senescence in open flowers. Flowers stored at 1C developed signs of chilling injury within 3 days, but chilling symptoms were not displayed in stems stored at 10C for 10 days. Flowers were not affected when exposed to 50 μl ethylene/liter for 24 hours. Transport and short-term storage in sealed, air-filled bags to protect the flowers from physical damage resulted in some atmosphere modification within the bags. Fungal growth occurred when flowers were kept in air-tilled bags for more than 6 days, resulting in a reduction in vase life. Chemical names used: 8-hydroxyquinoline citrate (8-HQC); sodium dichloroisocyanuric acid (DICA); n-alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride (Phyrsan-20).

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Regulation of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), activity of pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) and accumulation of acetaldehyde and ethanol in `Packham's Triumph' pears (Pyrus communis, L.) subsequent to different storage regimes were investigated. Pears were stored for two months at -1 °C either in air (Air) or under hypoxia at 3 kPa O2 (Hyp) and subsequently warmed and allowed to ripen in air at 20 °C. One set of fruit stored in air at -1 °C was subjected to 3 days of hypoxia at -1 °C (Air+Hyp) before ripening in air. Acetaldehyde, ethanol and methanol levels increased in all fruit in a similar fashion during ripening and did not reflect differences in storage treatments. During ripening, ADH activities in posthypoxic samples were generally twice that of air samples. PDC activities increased for ≈6 days during ripening then declined slightly but did not differ significantly among treatments. Upon transfer to 20 °C in air, slightly higher levels of Adh mRNA were observed in samples treated with hypoxia than in air controls. Over the following 2 days at 20 °C, the Adh transcription was markedly induced in Air and Air+Hyp samples. Although all Adh mRNAs returned to control levels within 4 days, ADH activities remained higher in hypoxia-treated fruit than in controls for up to 18 days. These results suggest that, in ripening pears, ADH does not limit ethanol production, and that the expression of this enzyme comprises post-transcriptional regulations. GenBank accession numbers of the Adh cDNAs are AFO 31899 and AFO 31900.

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