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Xiaogang Li, Ling Jin, Jing Ling, and Zhongchun Jiang

Foliar application of hormones and nutrients can improve fruit quality, but specific conditions for applying hormones and nutrients may vary among fruit species. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of 6-BA, potassium phosphate (monobasic), and calcium chloride on fruit weight, palatability, and storage quality of 8-year-old pear trees, cv. Hosui. Foliar applications of 1 mg·L-1 6-BA, 0.3% potassium phosphate, 0.3% calcium chloride, or 0.3% potassium phosphate + 0.3% calcium chloride were made at 20-day intervals from June until maturity. All foliar applications increased average fruit weight over the control (distilled water). 6-BA or the combination of potassium phosphate and calcium chloride increased fruit weight more than did potassium phosphate or calcium chloride alone. Fruit palatability, measured as the ratio of sugar content to acid content, was significantly lower in 6-BA, potassium phosphate, and calcium chloride treatments than in the control. All treatments increased vitamin C content over the control. Fruit storage quality in calcium chloride or calcium chloride + potassium phosphate treatments was superior to that in the control. Potassium phosphate alone and 6-BA treatments had no effects on fruit storage quality. We conclude that foliar applications of 0.3% potassium phosphate + 0.3% calcium chloride or 1 mg·L-1 6-BA can increase average fruit weight and improve fruit palatability.

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Xiaogang Li, Ling Jin, Zhongchun Jiang*, Nianjun Teng, and Baolong Sheng

The freezing method combined with enzymolysis was used to determine the content of stone cells of 70 pear varieties for the purpose of identifying the relationship between the content of stone cells and pulp quality. The results demonstrated that the content of stone cells was strongly correlated with pear quality. The majority of the stone cells in all the varieties had diameters of 0.25-0.5 mm; the weight of the stone cells with diameters in this range differed significantly among pear varieties. In addition, the varieties with a higher content of stone cells contained a higher content of coarse pulp than the varieties with a lower content of stone cells.

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Yu-Xiong Zhong, Jian-Ye Chen, Hai-Ling Feng, Jian-Fei Kuang, Ruo Xiao, Min Ou, Hui Xie, Wang-Jin Lu, Yue-Ming Jiang, and He-Tong Lin

Fresh fruit of longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.) are susceptible to pericarp browning and aril breakdown. Aril breakdown in longan fruit is regarded as one of the most important factors reducing quality and shortening storage life of the fruit. To better understand the molecular mechanism of aril breakdown, the expression patterns of three expansin (EXP) and three xyloglucan endotransglucosylase (XET) genes in relation to the aril breakdown of longan fruit stored at room temperature (25 °C) or low temperature (4 °C) were investigated. The results showed that aril breakdown index increased progressively during storage at 25 and at 4 °C. Northern blotting analysis revealed that the accumulations of three EXP and three XET genes exhibited differential characteristics with the occurrence of aril breakdown. During storage at 25 °C, the accumulations of Dl-XET3 increased after 1 day, suggesting that Dl-XET3 correlated well with the early aril breakdown, while Dl-EXP3 together with Dl-XET1 and Dl-XET2 was involved in later aril breakdown. However, expression of Dl-XET1 and Dl-XET2 could be mainly involved in aril breakdown of longan fruit stored at 4 °C. In addition, Dl-EXP2, whose accumulation increased sharply when longan fruit were transferred from low temperature to room temperature within 12 hours, was related to the aril breakdown in this storage period. These data indicated that Dl-EXPs and Dl-XETs were closely related to aril breakdown in longan fruit.