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  • Author or Editor: Melvin S. Nishina x
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The uptake of Ca by `Sunset' papaya (Carica papaya L.) fruit and its role in ripening was studied. The highest mesocarp Ca uptake rate occurred in fruit that were <40 days postanthesis when fruit transpiration was probably highest. Ca uptake rate by the mesocarp was low, from 60 to 80 days postanthesis when fruit fresh and dry weight increased. Mesocarp Ca uptake rate increased again from 100 to 140 days postanthesis when fruit fresh weight growth rate declined and dry weight growth rate increased. Mesocarp Ca concentration did not significantly differ from the peduncle to the blossom end. although Ca was significantly higher in the outer than inner mesocarp at the fruit equator. Mesocarp Ca concentration fluctuated significantly throughout the year ranging from 68 to 204 μg·g-1 fresh weight (FW). Soil Ca application did not always increase fruit mesocarp Ca concentration, while K and N fertilization decreased mesocarp Ca concentration. Attempts to increase mesocarp Ca concentration by spraying CaCl2 onto papaya fruit during growth and by postharvest vacuum infiltration and dipping of the cut peduncle into CaCl2 were unsuccessful. Mesocarp Ca concentration was positively correlated to the firmness of ripe papaya fruit and the rate of softening of mesocarp plugs. Less correlation was found between fruit firmness and the ratio of Ca concentration to K or Mg concentration, or to Mg plus K concentrations. Mesocarp Ca concentration of 130 μg·g-1 FW or above was associated with slower fruit softening rate than fruit with a lower concentration.

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Viable larvae of the Oriental fruit fly (Dacus dorsalis Hendel) were found in Carica papaya L. ‘Kapoho’ fruit after hot water double-dip quarantine treatment in Hawaii. Two types of blossom end defects, navel and definite pinhole, were responsible for the failure of the quarantine treatment. These defects resulted from abnormal placental growth near the blossom end of fruit. Defective fruit also had higher incidences of internal infection by Cladosporium sp. and Fusarium spp. A survey conducted in the Puna district of the island of Hawaii showed that the incidence of trees bearing defective fruit ranged from 5.3% to 31%.

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