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- Author or Editor: Wilfried Erfurth x
Water uptake through the exocarp of intact sweet cherry [Prunus avium (L.)] fruit was determined gravimetrically in an immersion assay (25 °C). Fruit with sealed pedicel/fruit juncture were incubated in water during the first interval (0 to 0.75 hour) and in 10 mm salt solutions of selected cations during the second (0.75 to 1.5 hours) and third interval (1.5 to 2.25 hours) of an experiment. Rates of water uptake (F) were calculated for first, second and third intervals (FI, FII and FIII, respectively) and salt effects indexed by the ratios FII/FI and FIII/FI. AgNO3 (FII/FI = 0.65), NaCl (0.70), BaCl2 (0.67), CdCl2 (0.69), CuCl2 (0.42), HgCl2 (0.58), and SrCl2 (0.69), and the salts of trivalent cations AlCl3 (0.50), EuCl3 (0.58), and FeCl3 (0.49), significantly decreased water uptake into mature `Sam' fruit as compared to the water control (0.87). KCl (0.82), NH4Cl (0.85), CaCl2 (0.75), MgCl2 (0.88), MnCl2 (0.81), and ZnCl2 (0.72) had no effect, LiCl (1.00) increased uptake. Similar data were obtained for FIII/FI. The effect of FeCl3 on water uptake was independent of the presence of CaCl2, AlCl3, or CuCl2, as sequential or simultaneous treatment with these salts reduced water uptake to the same extent as with FeCl3 alone. Increasing FeCl3 concentration up to 1 mm decreased uptake, higher concentrations had no further effect. FeCl3 and CaCl2 to a smaller extent decreased water uptake in developing `Regina' sweet cherry fruit (55 to 91 days after full bloom). FeCl3 had no significant effect on water uptake along the pedicel/fruit juncture, but markedly reduced uptake through the exocarp of all cultivars investigated (`Burlat', `Early Rivers', `Hedelfinger', `Knauffs', `Regina', `Sam', `Summit', and `Van'). Effects of CaCl2 on water uptake were limited to `Burlat', `Early Rivers', and `Hedelfinger'. CaCl2 and FeCl3 both decreased fruit cracking, but FeCl3 was more effective. The mode of action of mineral salts in decreasing water uptake and fruit cracking and their potential for field use are discussed.