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  • Author or Editor: L.J. Skog x
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Various cultivars of strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) were stored for 42 h under an atmosphere of 15% CO2 to determine whether their firmness would be enhanced. Compared to initial samples and stored control samples, enhanced firmness was found in 21 of the 25 cultivars evaluated. The CO2 had no effect on color, as measured by Hunter `L', `a' and `b', or on soluble solids concentration (SSC) or pH. There were significant differences among cultivars in firmness; Hunter color `L', `a', and `b'; SSC; and pH.

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1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), a gaseous synthetic cyclic hydrocarbon, has been shown to have potential to become an important new tool in controlling the response of plants sensitive to ethylene. Due to its irreversible binding to the ethylene receptor(s) and its subsequent prevention of the physiological action of ethylene for extended periods, 1-MCP may prove also to have effective commercial application in the control of ethylene effects in detached organs such as fruit. Our objective was to investigate the effectiveness of 1-MCP in controlling ripening in pear. Two commercial cultivars (Bosc, Anjou) and one numbered cultivar from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's breeding program (Harrow 607) were harvested at commercial maturity. Immediately after harvest, fruit were exposed for 24 h at 20 °C to 1-MCP ranging from 0 to 100 μL•L-1 then placed in air at 0 °C and 90% relative humidity for 5 and 10 weeks. Following treatment and after 5 weeks storage plus a 7- or 14-day post-storage ripening period, fruit softening and ethylene evolution were inhibited and fruit volatile evolution was reduced significantly by exposure to 1-MCP at or above 1.0 μL•L-1 in all three cultivars. Concentrations exceeding 1.0 μL•L-1 were required to maintain initial firmness and inhibit ethylene production after 10 weeks storage in air. Evolution of alpha-farnesene and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one was related to low temperature stress and chlorophyll loss as a result of ripening, respectively, and were affected by 1-MCP exposure. The pattern of evolution and amounts of other volatiles was also affected by 1-MCP treatment. These results indicate a huge potential for commercial use and application of 1-MCP in controlling fruit ripening and senescence.

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The sensitivity of easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum) to either ethylene or methane (products of incomplete burning in gas-fired unit heaters) was tested during rooting [3 weeks at 18 °C (65 °F)], vernalization [6 weeks at 6 °C (43 °F)] and subsequent greenhouse forcing (15 weeks at 18 °C). Starting at planting, easter lilies were exposed for one of seven consecutive 3-week periods (short-term), or for 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, or 21 weeks starting at planting (long-term) to either ethylene or methane at an average concentration of 2.4 and 2.5 μL·L-1(ppm), respectively. Short- or long-term exposure to ethylene during rooting and vernalization had no effect on the number of buds, leaves, or plant height but increased the number of days to flower. Short-term exposure within 6 weeks after vernalization reduced the number of buds by 1 bud/plant compared to the control (no ethylene exposure). However, extensive bud abortion occurred when plants were exposed to ethylene during the flower development phase. Long-term exposure to ethylene from planting until after the flower initiation period resulted in only two to three buds being initiated, while continued long-term exposure until flowering caused all flower buds to abort. Short-term exposure to methane at any time had no effect on leaf yellowing, bud number, bud abortion, or height and had only a marginal effect on production time. Long-term exposure to methane from planting until the end of vernalization increased both the number of buds, leaves and height without affecting forcing time, leaf yellowing or bud abortion.

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