Ethylene induces arenchyma formation in corn roots and other plant tissues, and abscisic acid (ABA) induces arenchyma in celery petioles. Pithiness (i.e., arenchyma) in celery can be measured as a decrease in density. Density was calculated for two cm long petiole segments by dividing their weight by their volume as calculated from the weight of water displaced upon immersion. The relationship between density (g/ml) and subjective pithiness rating (1 = none, 9 = severe) was linear (r2 = 0.87). Petiole segments exposed to 0 to 200 ppm ethylene in air at 5C for two weeks did not exhibit any significant differences (p = 0.05) in density among the treatments. Entire petioles were treated with 0, 1, 10, and 100 μM ABA in water for 96 h at 25C. The petioles were cut into thirds and the center 2 cm from each portion was excised and the density measured. Although density decreased in the top to the bottom portions over all ABA conc, the differences were not significant. Density was significantly reduced in segments excised from the bottom and middle of petioles treated with 10 and 100 μM ABA, compared to 0 and 1 μM ABA. There also was a decrease in density with ABA conc in the top portion, but the decrease was only significant for the 100 μM ABA conc.
Mary E. Mangrich and Mikal E. Saltveit Jr.
Mark Ritenour and Mikal E. Saltveit Jr.
Activity of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) is critical in the induction of russet spotting (RS) in leaves of Iceberg lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). RS is a major postharvest disorder of lettuce caused by exposure to ppm levels of ethylene at = 5C. Both PAL and RS are decreased when lettuce tissue previously exposed to ethylene is stored at = 15C or is transferred from = 5C to = 15C. To study the induction and inactivation of PAL, we exposed lettuce leaves to air ± 10 ppm ethylene at 5C for four days to initially induce high PAL levels. After four days, leaves were treated with water ± 2 mg/L cycloheximide, and transferred to air at 5 or 15 C. In leaves previously exposed to ethylene, PAL activity decreased rapidly to baseline levels within two days in non-cycloheximide treated leaves transferred to 15C. PAL activity remain elevated in the same treatment held at 5C. In leaves treated with cycloheximide and transferred to 15C, PAL did not begin to decrease until after four days. Cycloheximide treated leaves held at 5C showed increased PAL activity both two and four days after treatment.
John C. Beaulieu and Mikal E. Saltveit Jr.
Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill., cv. BHN 91) fruit were hand harvested at the pink sage of maturity and stored at 12.5, 20, and 30C in air, 3% O2 + 5% CO2, or 0.5% O2 + 20% CO2 for up to six days. Half of the fruit were inoculated with Fusarium. Control fruit retained the best appearance in 3% O2 + 5% CO2 at both 20 and 30C. Inoculated fruit at 12.5, 20 and 30C in air or 3% O2 + 5% CO2 were acceptable for 12, 3 and 2 days, respectively, but they deteriorated more rapidly compared to fruit held in 0.5% O2 + 20% CO2 as temperature and time increased. Off-odors were present in all 0.5% O2 + 5% CO2 treatments by days 12, 9 and 5 at 12.5, 20 and 30C, respectively. A significant time- and temperature-dependent increase in pH of locular and pericarp tissue, and of supernatant pH occurred in inoculated regions of fruit held in air by days 12, 6 and 3 at 12.5, 20 and 30C, respectively. In contrast, reduced acidity occurred at 9 and 5 days in 3% O2 + 5% CO2 at 20 and 30C, respectively. Generally, increased pH followed a trend with air > 3% O2 + 5% CO2 > 0.5% O2 + 20% CO2.
John C. Beaulieu and Mikal E. Saltveit Jr.
The content of acetaldehyde (AA) and ethanol (EtOH) increases in ripening climacteric fruit. Application of EtOH inhibits tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) fruit ripening without affecting subsequent quality, and AA enhances organoleptic quality. AA inhibited ripening of mature-green tomato discs (MGTD) at about 30% conc of EtOH. The relationship between EtOH and AA inhibition of tomato fruit ripening is unclear. The inter-conversion of AA and EtOH is catalyzed by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) which is inhibited by 4-methylpyrazole (4-MP). No adverse physiological effects upon ripening were observed in MGTD receiving 20 μL of 4.0 mM 4-MP. Treating MGTD with 0.5 to 4.0 mM 4-MP in concert with AA (≤2.0 μL/g FW) or EtOH (≤8 μL/g FW) was not deleterious to ripening. A rapid, efficient method for the analysis of tissue AA and EtOH was linear (r2 = 0.97) for discs spiked with 0 to 45 μL EtOH. No temporal (0 to 42 h) changes in tissue AA and EtOH were detected in MGTD receiving 2.0 mM 4-MP. MGTD treated with 2.0 mM 4-MP and 8 μL/g FW EtOH had a 360-fold increase in AA after 6 days of ripening, but had no differences on EtOH conc. These conditions maximally inhibited ripening as determined by lycopene content.
Krista C. Shellie and Mikal E. Saltveit Jr.
The CO2 and C2H4 conc in the internal cavity of three melon (Cucumis melo L., var. reticulatus and inodorus Naud.) cultivars was periodically measured in fruit attached to the vine and in fruit harvested 30 days after pollination (DAP). Gas samples were withdrawn through sterile serum stopper sampling ports aseptically installed near the equator of each fruit at ca. 20 DAP. Sampling continued until either 60 DAP or until fruit abscised. Internal CO2 and C2H4 conc increased in harvested fruit as they ripened (i.e., increased percent soluble solids, decreased flesh firmness, characteristic external color change). Fruit allowed to ripen on the vine also exhibited a rise in C2H4, but lacked a ripening associated climacteric rise in respiration, CO2 conc in attached fruit remained constant or declined as the C2H4, conc increased around 40-fold and the fruit ripened. The increase in CO2 conc, so commonly observed in ripening climacteric fruit, was observed in harvested melons, but not in fruit ripening on the vine. In melons, the respiratory climacteric may be an artifact of harvest. Implications of these observations will be discussed.
Jeffrey A. Leshuk and Mikal E. Saltveit Jr.
A method is described for the rapid determination of the anaerobic compensation point (ACP) of plant tissue, i.e., the O2 concentration at which CO2 production is minimum. The rate of CO2 production is measured from tissue exposed to an exponentially declining O2 concentration produced by a flow of N2 into a dilution bottle initially containing air. Too rapid a rate of O2 decline produces abnormal data because of the time required for the tissue to respond to changes in O2 concentration. The ACP is easily determined from a plot of CO2 production vs. O2 concentration. Rates of CO2 production and ACPS calculated using the exponentially declining system are similar to those calculated from traditional methods of continuously holding tissue under various O2 concentrations.
Roberto M. Cabrera and Mikal E. Saltveit Jr.
Symptoms of chilling injury were reduced by intermittently warming cucumber fruit (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Poinsett 76) from 2.5 to 12.5C for 18 hr every 3 days. Fruit continuously held at 2.5C for 13 days developed severe pitting and decay after 6 days at 20C, while fruit continuously held at 12.5C or intermittently warmed showed no pitting or decay during subsequent holding at 20C. The increased rate of C2H4 production during the first warming period, from 12 nl·(kg·hr)-1 at 2.5C to 201 nl·(kg·hr)-1 at 12.5C, was significantly greater than that during the second or third warming periods, i.e., 53 to 98 and 53 to 55 nl C2H4/(kg·hr), respectively. Respiration increased 3-fold during the initial warming period, but only 2-fold during subsequent warming periods. Leakage of cellular ions from excised disks of mesocarp tissue was around 6% and 10% of the total ion content of the tissue for control and intermittently warmed fruit, respectively, but increased to 17% for fruit that were continuously held at 2.5C for 10 days. After 320 hr (three cycles) of chilling and warming, chilled fruit showed significantIy lower ethylene-forming enzyme activity than the control or intermittently warmed fruit. Fruit held at 12.5C contained 0.09 to 0.34 nmol·g-1 of ACC. ACC levels were 6.23 nmol·g-1 in fruit exposed to 2.5C for 320 hr. In contrast, intermittently warmed fruit only showed 30% and 27% increases in ACC content during the first and second warming periods, respectively. Periodic warming appears to allow chilled fruit to acclimate to subsequent periods of chilling. Chemical names used: 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC).
Vito Miccolis and Mikal E. Saltveit Jr
External color, length, diameter, fresh weight, C02 production, internal C2HA concentration, flesh firmness, soluble solids concentration (SSC), flesh color, and seed cavity diameter were measured during fruit growth and maturation of seven melon cultivars (Cucumis melo L., Inodorus Group, Naud. cv. `Amarelo', `Golden Beauty Casaba', `Honey Dew', `Honey Loupe', `Juan Canary', `Paceco', and `Santa Claus Casaba') of known age. There was no increase in C02 production either during ripening (e.g., loss of firmness and increased SSC) or with increasing C2H4 levels in fruit from any of the seven cultivars. There was a significant decline in respiration only at the second sampling date, which ranged from 14 to 18 days after anthesis. Respiration measured 1 week later was substantially higher and was followed by a general decline. This post 14- to 18-day rise in respiration was not a climacteric since it occurred well in advance of other ripening characteristics, e.g., loss of firmness, increase in SSC, or rise in internal C2H4. The increase in internal C2H4. coincided with or followed attainment of full fruit size, while flesh softening and the rapid rise in SSC preceded the rise in internal C2H4, concentration. Respiration declined from 67 to 18 ml CO2/kg per hour by day 43 in all cultivars, except `Honey Dew' and `Honey Loupe'. Respiration in `Honey Loupe' remained above 23 ml CO2/kg per hour and showed a rise to 32 ml/kg per hour on day 53. Respiration in `Honey Dew' did not fall below 18 ml CO2/kg per hour until day 53. As with internal C2H4 levels, there was no correlation between changes in and any marked change in the other signs of ripening that were measured.
Mikal E. Saltveit Jr. and Abdel R. Sharaf
Tomato fruit (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill., cv. Castelmart) were harvested at various degrees of ripeness and exposed to ethanol vapor at 0, 2, or 4, ml·kg-1 in a 20-liter jar for 0, 2, 4, or 6 hours at 20C. Ripening was measured as changes in subjective color and in firmness and production of CO2 and ethylene. The soluble solids concentration (percent), titratable acidity (percent), and pH were measured at the end of the storage period when the fruit were red-ripe. Ethanol's inhibition of ripening was not confined to mature-green fruit, but also inhibited reddening of breaker, turning, and pink fruits. Storage of mature-green fruit at 20, 15, or 12C after treatment with 0 or 2 ml ethanol/kg at 20C prolonged the delay in ripening for 5, 6, and 7 days, respectively, compared with controls. There was no reduction in the quality of these fruit when they were red-ripe, even though there was an 11-day difference between the time the 20C control and the 12C-treated fruit became red-ripe. An informal panel did not detect any differences in flavor between these control and ethanol-treated fruit that were red-ripe. Increasing the duration of exposure to ethanol vapors from 2 to 6 hours had a pronounced effect on ethylene and CO2 production, but it did not significantly prolong the inhibition of ripening of mature-green fruit nor did it change their rate of softening during ripening. Increasing the temperature during exposure increased the effectiveness of ethanol, with the same level of inhibition produced by 6 hours at 20C, 4 hours at 25C, or 2 hours at 30C. Postharvest use of ethanol vapor to retard ripening may be a useful technique to extend the market life of tomato fruit.
Stacey L. Ontai, Robert E. Paull and Mikal E. Saltveit Jr.
Sugar peas (Pisum sativum var. saccharatum cv. Manoa Sugar) were stored for 14 or 21 days under controlled atmospheres (CA) of 21% or 2.4% O2, plus 0%, 2.6%, or 4.7% CO2 at 10 or 1C. Changes in appearance, weight, and in the concentrations of chlorophyll, total soluble sugars, insoluble solids, and soluble protein were evaluated before and after storage. After 14 days of storage at 10C there were minor changes in all indicators of quality under the various storage conditions, but the appearance of sugar peas was better under CA than under 21% O2. When quality was evaluated after 21 days, however, storage under CA at 10C was not as beneficial as storage in 21% O2, at 1C. Holding peas in 2.4% O2, for up to 3 weeks at l0C, a higher than recommended storage temperature, maintained better quality than 21% O2. Increasing the CO, concentration from 0% to 2.6% or 4.7% had no adverse effects on quality and had a beneficial effect in some treatments. Compared with storage in 21% O2, the appearance of the peas was better, the concentrations of chlorophyll and soluble sugar were maintained at higher levels, and the insoluble solids were decreased in all atmospheres with 2.4% O2. Appearance and concentrations of chlorophyll, soluble sugars, and proteins were maintained at 1C regardless of treatments.