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Peter J. Hofman, Marcelle Jobin-Décor and Janet Giles

The potential to use percentage of dry matter (DM) and/or oil of the flesh of `Hass' avocado as a maturity standard to determine the latest harvest for acceptable fruit quality, was investigated. `Hass' avocado fruit were harvested from early October to mid-January from a commercial orchard in subtropical Queensland. The percentage of DM and oil changed little during the harvest period, and the eating quality of the flesh remained high. However, the incidence of body rots (caused mainly by Colletotrichum sp.) and the flesh disorders grey pulp and vascular browning, increased with harvest. These results indicate that percentage of DM and oil are not reliable late-maturity standards because of the inconsistent change with later harvests, and that disease and internal disorders can be the main determinants of latest acceptable harvest, rather than eating quality.

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Andrew J. Macnish, David H. Simons, Daryl C. Joyce, John D. Faragher and Peter J. Hofman

Postharvest longevity of some cut flowers is shortened by exposure to ethylene gas. Adverse effects of ethylene may be prevented by treatment with 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) gas. Responses of 14 different native Australian cut flowers to 1-MCP and ethylene applied at concentrations of 10 nL·L-1 and 10 μL·L-1, respectively, were examined. Each gas was applied alone for 12 hours at 20 °C and they were also applied in series. Vase lives of Ceratopetalum gummiferum, Chamelaucium uncinatum, Grevillea `Kay Williams' and `Misty Pink', Leptospermum petersonii, Telopea `Shady Lady', and Verticordia nitens were reduced by ethylene treatment. Treatment with 1-MCP generally protected these cut flowers against subsequent exposure to ethylene. The 1-MCP treatment usually did not extend their vase lives in the absence of exogenous ethylene.