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M.E. Arena, G. Vater, and P. Peri

The aim of this work was to study the phenology and fruiting characteristics of B. buxifolia Lam. at Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. One-year-old shoots had significantly more and heavier fruit than older ones. The orientation, height position, and age of shoots significantly affected the shrub productivity. The highest relative number of fruiting shoots, fruit number and fruit weight were found on the northern side of shrub, followed by eastern, western and southern orientations. The relative number of fruiting shoots, fruit number and fruit weight were higher in the upper half of the plant. One-year-old fruiting shoots were significantly higher than 2- and 3-year-old shoots. Likewise, the relative fruit number and fruit weight were significantly higher on 1-year-old than older shoots.

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Juan C. Diaz-Perez, S. Bautista, M. Arenas, S. Evangelista, and R. Arce

There are very few postharvest studies about the mamey sapote fruits. The lack of appropriate harvest indexes for this crop result in fruits having a wide variability in maturity after harvest. Fruit skin shows no apparent changes in color as maturity progresses. Another complication results from harvesting the fruit with long poles, which restricts the harvester from touching the fruit to evaluate fruit softening. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of exogenous ethylene applications to fruits on increasing the uniformity of fruit maturity. Fruits were harvested every 2 weeks over a 4-month period. Fruit harvest was initiated 8 weeks before the estimated ripening day. Fruits were treated by immersion for 1 min in an ethephon solution at 0, 500, or 1000 mg·liter–1 and stored at 20°C (65% RH) for 4 or 8 days. After the storage period, fruits were analyzed for fruit firmness, color (external and internal), pH, titratable acidity, soluble solids content, ascorbic acid, and starch. Postharvest exogenous applications of ethylene stimulated postharvest ripening of the mamey sapote fruits. Ripening was associated to fruit softening, a change in pulp color from a pale pink to an intense pink color, and an increase in SSC. Fruit response to exogenous ethylene applications was small in immature fruits and increased as fruits approached the ripe stage, and decreased again in over-ripe fruits. In conclusion, postharvest applications of ethylene increased both fruit earliness and maturity uniformity in fruits.

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M. Arenas, C.S. Vavrina, J.A. Cornell, E.A. Hanlon, and G.J. Hochmuth

Sixteen media prepared from peat, coir, vermiculite, or perlite were used to determine the optimum growing media for tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.) transplants. Medium composition did not affect tomato seed emergence, although seedling emergence was higher in winter (90%) than summer (85%). Greatest transplant root dry weight, stem diameter, and leaf area were achieved in 50% to 75% peat + 25% to 50% vermiculite in summer. In winter, greatest transplant root dry weight, stem diameter, and leaf area were achieved in eight media: 100% peat, 75% peat + 25% vermiculite, 75% peat + 25% perlite, 50% peat + 50% vermiculite, 50% peat + 50% perlite, 25% peat + 50% coir + 25% vermiculite, 50% peat + 25%coir + 25% vermiculite, and 25% peat +25% coir +25% vermiculite +25% perlite. Transplants grown with >50% coir exhibited reduced plant growth compared to peat-grown transplants, a response that may be associated with high N immobilization by microorganisms and high C:N ratio. Despite transplant growth differences during the summer, fruit yields generally were unaffected by transplant media.