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  • Author or Editor: Soon-Ju Chung x
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Many trials to supply selenium to fruit have been carried out since tests have confirmed selenium's role as a medical substance. Supplying selenium in orchards by soil and foliar application was not effective because of loss from rainfall. In order to increase selenium absorption by fruit, this study carried out tree trunk injections during the growing season. Selenium solutions in concentrations of 5, 10, 25, and 50 mg·L–1 were supplied to `Niitaka' pear (Pyruspyrifolia) trees by trunk injection (1.5 L/tree) four times at 15-day intervals from June 2004.

The treatment with 50 mg·L–1 selenium showed necrosis symptoms at leaf-margins after secondary treatment and toxicity as abnormally red fruit skin color. Fruit weight and leaf area were decreased by selenium treatments, while severe symptoms appeared with higher selenium concentrations. Hunter values `a' and `b' in fruit skin color were increased by selenium treatment in comparison to the control. The selenium treatment showed lower soluble solids by as much as 1.2%, and higher fruit firmness. Selenium concentration in pear fruit was increased by trunk injection with a 5 mg·L–1 solution. The bound selenium in pear fruit after 3 months of storage in cold room conditions was very high, but free selenium was low.

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During the early spring, embolism symptoms may be observed on the leaves of kiwi trees after a severe, cold winter. The morphological character of embolism in young leaves in early spring is typically parachute shaped, at the basal part of kiwi shoots. Deformed leaves were observed at the beginning stage of development. To test the factors, we used water stress, low temperature, and xylem bubble treatments on kiwi vines during the winter season. Low temperature treatments on trees were carried out in a –15 °C chamber for 0, 12, 24, and 48 hours. For the xylem bubble treatment, the trees were injected with 3.5 MPa compressed air at –15 °C for 24 hours. For water stress treatments, the trees were not irrigated until dry soil conditions reached as little as 50% soil moisture. Treated kiwi trees planted in plastic pots (20 cm × 25 cm) were moved into the growth chamber at 25 °C with 12 hours of light, and the rate of deformed leaf symptoms was observed. In all treatments, deformed leaves were observed and bud burst rates were lower than for the control. Therefore, we confirmed that the main factors for deformed leaves were low temperature, xylem bubbles, and water stress.

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In order to cultivate tomato of the first fruit cluster harvest a lot of nursery plants were required as much as 75,000 to 100,000 plants per hectare in green house in Korea. Therefore, it needs too many expenses to buy tomato seeds. This study was carried out to confirm the possibility of alternative use of the tomato cuttings instead of tomato seedlings of two varieties. The cutting materials of each node were taken from the suitable transplanting tomato seedling nursery plants in commercial green house. Four to five nodes of seedling nursery plants were cut into plug tray with 50 to 128 cells, 23 to 80 mL/cell in cell capacity. At 5 days after cutting rooting was initiated and the rooted plants could be transplanted as cutting nursery plants. The cutting nursery plants of Rockusanmaru and Momotarou-yoku varieties were planted to the perlite media in hydroponics bench in green house with 111,110 plants/ha (90 cm × 10 cm) in planting density at 8 May 2002. The matured fruits were harvested from 9 July through 26 July 2002. The number of harvested fruits was 2.9 to 3.3 for the two varieties. The fruit weight was 138 to 153 g for `Rockusanmaru', and 127 to 146 g for `Momotarou-yoku'. The cutting nursery plants of `Rockusanmaru' showed higher fruit yields as much as 51.5 tons/ha than that of seedlings as 40.3 tons/ha. There was a similar result in `Momotarou-yoku'. The duration from cutting to harvest of first fruit cluster was required 89 to 105 days, as well as 63 to 79 days from field planting to harvest. In conclusion the cultivation with tomato cutting nursery plants was considered as better effects in shorter periods in nursery raising and higher yields in comparison to conventional cultivation with seedlings.

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Germanium has been reported as a mineral element affecting plant cell metabolism. Many trials to supply germanium to fruit have been carried out since tests have confirmed germanium's role as a medical substance. Supplying germanium to orchards by soil and foliar application was not effective because of loss from rainfall. Also, tree injection with germanium solution required the insertion of a tube to the tree xylem at each injection site. In order to increase germanium absorption by fruit, this study carried out the postharvest dipping of fruit into germanium solution. `Niitaka' pear (Pyruspyrifolia) fruit was treated with two types of germanium, GeO (inorganic type) and Ge-132 (organic type), in a concentration of 50 mg·L–1 just after harvest in early Oct. 2004. Flesh browning after peeling the fruit was delayed by germanium treatment, and polyphenoloxidase (PPO) activities were lowered. Postharvest potentials were maintained at high levels for fruit firmness, physiological disorders, and decayed fruit during cold storage at 0 to 1 °C for 2 months. Antioxidant and some phenolic compounds were higher than those of control fruit.

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The shells of crab, shrimp, beetles, etc., could be decomposed by chitinase to chitin, calcium, and protein, respectively. We incubated the mixture solution of 1.5 kg crab shell, 1.5 kg multinutrient, 2 kg compost with microorganisms to decompose the chitin substance, 3 kg sugar, and 700 L water at room temperature for 7 days. During the incubation, aeration with an air pump was essential. We sprayed the chitin-incubated solution (CIS) after filtering to `Niitaka' pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) trees at 15-day intervals from May to Sept. 2004. Leaf area, leaf thickness, leaf specific weight, and chlorophyll contents were increased by the treatment with CIS. In fruit characteristics, fruit weight, soluble solids, fruit firmness, and Hunter values “a” and “b”were increased by the CIS treatment. Flesh browning after peeling the fruit was delayed by the CIS treatment, and polyphenoloxidase (PPO) activities were lowered.

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To determine whether chilling tolerance is related to cold acclimation, changes in physiological responses and activity of antioxidative enzymes were investigated in leaves of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) grown in controlled environments. Plants were exposed to 15 °C (cold-acclimated) or 25 °C (nonacclimated) for 3 days, under 50 μmol·m-2·s-1 photosynthetic photon flux and 70% relative humidity. Plants were then exposed to 8 °C chilling temperature for 3 days, and allowed to recover in a growth chamber at 25 °C for 3 days. Measurements of leaf water content, cellular leakage, lipid peroxidation, chlorophyll a fluorescence, and quantum yield showed that cold-acclimated leaves were less affected by chilling compared to nonacclimated leaves. Cold-acclimated leaves recovered faster than nonacclimated leaves with regard to all variables examined. Catalase and ascorbate peroxidase activities were induced in cold-acclimated leaves, but not in nonacclimated leaves. These data indicate that cold acclimation increased chilling tolerance of cucumber in association with antioxidative enzymes.

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