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Gregory A. Lang and Jiaxun Tao

We have previously demonstrated that a protein of ∼62 kD decreases in response to temperature during the final stages of chilling unit accumulation in dormant peach flower buds (Lang and Tao, 1991, HortSci. 26:733). To further examine proteins that potentially may be associated with endodormancy, floral buds, spurs, and/or shoots were collected during winter from `Anna' apple, various blueberry cultivars, `MidSouth' grape, `20th Century' pear, `Hawthorne' peach, and `Santa Rosa' plum. Soluble proteins were extracted and analyzed by one-dimensional SDS-PAGE. A major protein of ∼62 kD was present in plum, and lesser amounts of one or two similar proteins were found in blueberry, but not in apple or grape. The 62 kD peach protein originally found in buds was also present, in lesser proportions, in peach shoot xylem and phloem tissues, but not in petioles or seeds. Apple exhibited a major protein band at ca. 31 kD that may be a storage protein. The similarities and disparities in protein profiles between fruit crops, as well as changes that occur during winter, will be discussed with respect to dormancy, cold hardiness, and storage compounds.

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Gregory A. Lang and Jiaxun Tao

The postharvest performance of early ripening southern highbush blueberries `Sharpblue' and `Gulfcoast' was evaluated under storage and simulated retail conditions. In general, `Gulfcoast' fruit were 28% heavier than those of `Sharpblue', which had a higher percent soluble solids concentration (SSC) and lower titratable acidity (TA). Quality loss, as indexed by fresh weight, percent decayed fruit, or changes in SSC, pH, or TA, was insignificant in first-harvest fruit of either cultivar when kept in storage (2C) for up to 7 days. Transfer of fruit stored at 2C for 3 days to simulated retail conditions at 21C for 4 days significantly increased fresh weight loss and decay, but not beyond levels deemed unmarketable. Second-harvest fruit were smaller than first-harvest fruit, and those of `Sharpblue' fruit were more prone to decay. However, storage quality of both cultivars was acceptable through 11 days at 2C. Retail quality, as influenced by decay incidence, was acceptable after 3 days at 2C plus 4 days at 21C, but not after 3 days at 2C plus 8 days at 21C. Overall, fruits of these early ripening southern highbush blueberry cultivars performed well under postharvest conditions and are suitable for expanding production of premium fresh blueberries by growers in the Gulf coastal plains.