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  • Author or Editor: Kristi Barckley x
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Pear texture is similar to that of apple—firm and crispy—and is one of the potential alternatives to apple. However, at a crispy stage the taste is flat. Improving the taste of pears is considered the key to the success of pear salad. This study evaluated the effect of harvest maturity on the quality of pear salad. Fruit were harvested at commercial maturity or 1 month delayed. After 2 and 5 months (1 and 4 months for delayed harvested fruit) of storage at –1 °C, fruit were sliced (eight to 10 wedges per fruit), treated with an anti-browning dip, packaged in zip-lock bags (10 pieces per bag), and stored at 1 °C for up to 21 days. Delayed harvested fruit were larger in size (≈12.5% increase in weight), had lower flesh firmness (≈5 N decrease), lower titratable acidity content (≈20% decrease), and a lower phenolic content (≈45% decrease in pulp). There was no significant difference in soluble solids content. After 2 months of storage, ethylene production and respiration rate were initially lower in delayed harvested fruit in either the intact fruit or cut slices, but tended to similar after 7 days in storage. Sensory evaluation results show that about 80% of the panel preferred delayed-harvested fruit over commercial harvest, especially in terms of visual quality (71% to 92%), sweetness (75% to 93%), taste (69% to 92%), texture of skin (61% to 92%), texture of flesh (53% to 92%), and overall quality (73% to 92%) during 21 days of storage at 1 °C. After 5 months of storage, cutting surface was dry-looking in delayed harvested fruit. However, sensory evaluation showed panels still preferred the delayed-harvested fruit. The results indicate that salad quality of pears can be improved by delaying harvest.

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The California almond industry is the largest supplier of almonds [Prunus dulcis (Miller) D.A. Webb] in the United States and throughout the world. Self-incompatibility is a major issue in almond production as it greatly affects nut set. In this study, we determined full-length sequences for alleles Sa - Si, determined the genotypes of 44 California cultivars, and assigned the cultivars to cross-incompatibility groups (CIGs). Newly identified S-alleles led to an increase in the number of CIGs. A pairwise distance tree was constructed using the aligned amino acid sequences showing their similarity. Four pairs of alleles (Sc and Se, Sg and Sh, Sd and Sj, and Sb and Sf) showed high sequence similarity. Because of its simplicity, reproducibility, and ease of analysis, PCR is the preferred method for genotyping S-alleles.

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