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  • Author or Editor: Luis Neubauer x
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Lenticel breakdown disorder (LB), most prevalent on ‘Gala’ (Malus × domestica) apples, especially in arid regions, has also been observed on other common cultivars. Depending on the preharvest environment, fruit maturity, and length of storage, LB usually appears as one or more round, darkened pits, centered on a lenticel, ranging in diameter from 1 to 8 mm. Symptoms are not visible at harvest nor are they usually apparent on unprocessed fruit after storage. However, following typical fruit processing and packing, symptoms are fully expressed after 12 to 48 h. Because the 3 to 4 weeks preceding ‘Gala’ harvest are usually the hottest and least humid, we theorized that desiccation stress was a main causative factor. Thus, several unique lipophilic formulations were developed that might reduce desiccation potential during this period of hot arid weather and rapid fruit enlargement. Emulsions of lipophilic formulations were applied to whole trees at various dosages and timings. In 2005, using a single handgun application 1 day before harvest, the best treatment reduced LB by about 20% in fruit stored 90 days at −1 °C. The following season, the best treatment from a single handgun application 7 days before harvest reduced LB by 35% after 90 days at −1 °C, whereas 3 weekly applications beginning 3 weeks before harvest reduced LB in similarly stored fruit by as much as 70%. In 2007, the best single treatment applied 1 week before harvest using a commercial airblast sprayer reduced LB by almost 50% after 90 days at −1 °C.

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