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Douglas D. Archbold, Thomas R. Hamilton-Kemp and John H. Loughrin

Volatile compounds, commonly produced by flowers during bloom, have been described as insect attractants. Some of these compounds stimulate Pinus pollen germination in vitro (French et al., 1979, J. Agric. Fd. Chem., 27184-187), suggesting that such compounds may do the same in vivo. Red Delicious apple pollen was germinated on agar in a simple, enclosed in vitro bioassay system in the presence of a number of plant tissues, including apple, tomato, and chrysanthemum leaves, apple flowers, rose petals, and apple fruit slices. These tissues represent a diversity of types of volatile compounds, Pollen germination was recorded by microphotography after 1 and 2 hours, and percent germination was determined. Although stimulation of germination was not observed, macerated tomato leaves inhibited it. To determine if the volatile characteristics of cultivars differ, flowers of Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apple were harvested at full bloom. Their volatiles were collected, identified, and quantitated by capillary GC-MS. Among 8 major compounds common in the two cultivars, several quantitative differences were observed. These results will be discussed in relation to the potential role of volatiles in pollen germination.

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Douglas D. Archbold, Thomas R. Hamilton-Kemp and John H. Loughrin

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Elazar Fallik, Douglas D. Archbold and Thomas R. Hamilton-Kemp

Some plant-derived natural volatile compounds exhibit antifungal properties and may offer a tremendous opportunity to control the causes of postharvest spoilage without affecting fresh produce quality or leaving a residue on the produce. E-2-hexenal has shown significant potential for use as a fumigant for controlling Botrytis cinerea in prior studies. In in vitro studies on the mode of action of E-2-hexenal, mycelial growth and percent spore germination were inversely proportional to concentrations of the compound. Spore germination was found to be more susceptible to the compound then mycelial growth. Much higher concentrations of E-2-hexenal were required to inhibit mycelial growth than spore germination. Lower concentrations of the compound significantly stimulated mycelial growth, especially when the volatile was added 2 days following inoculation. Light microscopy analysis revealed that a high concentration of the volatile damaged fungal cell wall and membranes. Treatment with a high vapor phase level of E-2-hexenal during postharvest storage of strawberry fruit at 2°C prevented botrytis development in a subsequent storage period at 15°C. However, treatment with a low vapor phase level enhanced botrytis development. The implications of these results with respect to the practical use of E-2-hexenal and other natural volatile compounds will be discussed.

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Federica Galli*, Douglas D. Archbold, Kirk W. Pomper, Thomas R. Hamilton-Kemp and Randall W. Collins

Pawpaw [Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal] is a highly perishable climacteric fruit, softening rapidly once ripening commences which may limit its marketability. In studies to determine the optimum cold storage temperature and maximum storage life of the fruit, pawpaw fruit were stored at -2, 2, and 6 °C for 1, 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks, and then ripened upon removal to ambient temperature. Through 4 weeks, fruit exhibited adequate firmness upon removal from cold storage, but at 8 and 12 weeks fruit held at 2 and 6 °C were very soft. Irrespective of storage temperature, at 8 weeks fruit showed a delay in a climacteric-like respiratory increase, and by 12 weeks a respiratory climacteric was not apparent. An ethylene climacteric was evident after all temperature and storage periods except those held at 6 °C for 12 weeks. Significant symptoms of cold injury were found by 8 weeks of 2 °C cold storage. In addition to a delayed respiratory climacteric, pawpaw fruit stored for 8 and 12 weeks exhibited flesh browning within 48 h of moving to ambient temperature. A change in fruit aroma volatile profile suggested injury might have been developing by 4 weeks of cold storage even though other symptoms were not evident. Immediately after harvest, methyl octanoate was the dominant volatile ester followed by methyl hexanoate. By 4 weeks of postharvest cold storage, ethyl hexanoate was the dominant ester followed by ethyl octanoate, but methyl octanoate production was still substantial. At 8 weeks, volatile ester production was generally lower with ethyl hexanoate the major volatile followed by ethyl octanoate. These symptoms indicate that pawpaw fruit can suffer cold injury during extended periods of cold storage.

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Cary G. Patterson, Douglas D. Archbold, J.G. Rodriguez and Thomas R. Hamilton-Kemp

The influence of long and short daylengths on twospotted spider mite (TSSM) (Tetranychus urticae Koch) resistance of strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) foliage was studied. Photoperiods of 8 hours (short daylength) and continuous light (long daylength) altered the seasonal change in susceptibility of `Redchief' strawberry foliage to TSSM. Plants exposed to continuous light rapidly became resistant, those exposed to short daylength remained relatively susceptible, and plants under natural daylength exhibited the seasonal change of slowly increasing resistance. Plants resistant to TSSM under long daylength became susceptible 19 days after being switched to a short daylength. Plants that were switched from short to long daylength changed from TSSM susceptible to resistant. Field-grown plants of `Redchief', a short-day sensitive cultivar, and `Tribute', a day-neutral cultivar, exhibited increasing resistance to TSSM from 2 weeks before bloom until 2 weeks into harvest when greatest resistance was observed. These results suggest that TSSM resistance in strawberry is influenced by daylength and that this effect may be independent of daylength effects on strawberry reproductive development.

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Douglas D. Archbold, Thomas R. Hamilton-Kemp, Ann M. Clements and Randy W. Collins

Seedless table grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) cv. Crimson Seedless were exposed to (E)-2-hexenal vapor during cold storage to determine its potential as a fumigant for long-term control of postharvest mold. Fruit were fumigated with 0.86 or 1.71 mmol (100 or 200 μL neat compound, respectively) (E)-2-hexenal per 1.1-L container for 2 weeks during 2 °C storage. Containers were moved to 20 °C storage after 4, 8, and 12 weeks for determination of mold incidence and berry quality over 12 days. The headspace concentration of (E)-2-hexenal, measured by gas chromatography, reached a maximum of 2.5 and 4.2 μmol·L–1 for 0.86 and 1.71 mmol per container, respectively, after 1 day and declined to <1 μmol·L–1 for both treatments by 14 days. Upon removal from cold storage at 4, 8, and 12 weeks, the incidence of mold was significantly lower for (E)-2-hexenal–treated fruit. Control of mold by (E)-2-hexenal fumigation persisted through 12 days of 20 °C storage, even though mold generally increased in all treatments. The two levels of (E)-2-hexenal were similar in their suppression of mold. Fumigation did not affect O2 or CO2 concentrations within the containers, nor were fruit firmness or soluble solids content affected. Postharvest fumigation of seedless table grapes with the natural volatile compound (E)-2-hexenal shows promise for control of mold.

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Elazar Fallik, Douglas D. Archbold, Thomas R. Hamilton-Kemp, Ann M. Clements, Randy W. Collins and Margaret M. Barth

Some plant-derived natural volatile compounds exhibit antifungal properties and may offer an opportunity to control the causes of postharvest spoilage without affecting quality of, or leaving a residue on, fresh produce. The natural wound volatile (E)-2-hexenal has exhibited significant antifungal activity in earlier studies, but effects on spore germination and mycelial growth have not been separated, nor has the inhibitory mode of action been determined. To determine the efficacy of (E)-2-hexenal for control of Botrytis cinerea Pers. ex Fr. spore germination and mycelial growth, and to examine the mode of action, in vitro and in vivo studies were performed. Under in vitro bioassay conditions, spore germination was more sensitive to the compound than was mycelial growth. Vapor from 10.3 μmol of (E)-2-hexenal in a 120-mL petri dish completely inhibited spore germination. However, 85.6 μmol of (E)-2-hexenal was required to completely inhibit mycelial growth. Lower concentrations of the compound (5.4 and 10.3 μmol) significantly stimulated mycelial growth, especially when the volatile was added 2 days following inoculation. Mycelial growth did not occur as long as the vapor-phase concentration was 0.48 μmol·L-1 or greater. Light microscopy analysis indicated that a high concentration of volatile compound dehydrated fungal hyphae and disrupted their cell walls and membranes. Exposure of B. cinerea-inoculated and non-inoculated strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) fruit in 1.1-L low-density polyethylene film-wrapped containers to vapor of (E)-2-hexenal at 85.6 or 856 μmol (10 or 100 mL, respectively) per container for durations of 1, 4, or 7 days during 7 days of storage at 2 °C promoted the incidence of B. cinerea during subsequent shelf storage at 20 to 22 °C. Loss of fruit fresh mass and fruit firmness during storage at 22 °C was increased by (E)-2-hexenal treatment, but fruit total soluble solids, pH, titratable acidity, and color (L, C, and H values) were not affected. Thus, maintenance of a high vapor-phasel level of (E)-hexenal, perhaps >0.48 μmol·L-1, may be necessary to inhibit mycelial growth and avoid enhancing postharvest mold problems, while significantly higher levels may be necessary to completely eliminate the pathogen.