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The ethylene action inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene (MCP) reduces the rate of ripening of many apple and pear cultivars. The longevity of MCP responses induced by a single application at harvest is dependent in part on MCP treatment concentration and post-application storage conditions. Experiments were conducted using several apple and pear cultivars to evaluate the efficacy of repeated application to prolong the duration of MCP responses. Fruit were treated with MCP at harvest then stored in air at 0 °C. After various storage durations, MCP was reapplied at the same or higher concentrations. Control fruit not exposed to MCP were stored at the same temperature in either air or a controlled atmosphere (CA). Reapplication prolonged MCP responses compared to fruit treated only at harvest and fruit quality after storage was similar to that of fruit stored in CA. Reapplication was most effective when fruit ethylene production was below 0.1 μL·L–1 at the time of reapplication. The use of low concentration MCP treatments at harvest may allow for more predictable ripening of fruit after storage, particularly for pear fruit where softening is desired.

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Whole carrots (Daucus carota L.) and midrib tissues of iceberg lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) were treated with 42 μmol·m-3 MCP, then exposed to ethylene. Exposure to 42 μmol·m-3 ethylene at 10 °C increased isocoumarin content ≈40-fold in both peel and pulp of nontreated carrots within 4 days, but treatment with MCP for 4 hours at 20 °C before exposure to ethylene prevented isocoumarin accumulation. Ethylene-induced acidity loss and respiration rate increase in carrots were also prevented by MCP treatment. Ethylene treatment (126 μmol·m-3) of lettuce at 6 °C had induced russet spotting >5% to 10% of the midrib tissue by day 3 and 30% to 35% by day 9, while pretreatment with MCP for 4 hours at 6 °C prevented development of russet spotting. The results indicate that ethylene-induced physiological disorders and quality loss in carrots and iceberg lettuce can be prevented by MCP treatment prior to exposure to ethylene. Chemical name used: 1-methylcyclopropene (MCP).

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'Elberta' peaches (Prunus persica L.) harvested 6 days apart were treated with 0.5 mL·L-1 1-MCP for 4 hours at 20 °C then stored at 0, 5, 10 or 20 °C. Fruit were ripened at 20 °C for 3 days after 1, 3, and 6 weeks of storage at 0, 5, and 10 °C. Treatment with 1-MCP delayed the onset of climacteric ethylene production and reduced respiration in fruit held at 20 °C. 1-MCP-treated fruit were firmer than untreated controls after storage at 0 or 5 °C. 1-MCP-treated fruit also had higher titratable acidity (TA) after 1 week of storage at 0 or 5 °C, but TA was lower compared to controls after 3 or 6 weeks of storage. Fruit stored at 5 °C had more severe internal browning, lower extractable juice and TA than fruit stored at either 0 or 10 °C, however, 1-MCP treated fruit had more severe internal browning than untreated fruit after 3 and 6 weeks of storage at 5 °C. Fruit from harvest 1 treated with 1-MCP and stored at 0 °C for 6 weeks failed to soften after removal from storage. Chemical name used: 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP).

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Effects of artificial ultraviolet-visible light and methyl jasmonate (MJ) treatment on `Fuji' apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] fruit peel anthocyanin, phenolic, carotenoid, and chlorophyll production were examined using tristimulus color analysis and reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography. Anthocyanin synthesis was enhanced by light and MJ treatment. Chlorogenic acid and most cyanidin, quercetin, and phloretin glycosides increased with MJ treatment concentration. Light alone also promoted increased production of most of these compounds. Production of catechin, (-)epicatechin, quercetin, and quercetrin was not enhanced by either light or MJ treatment. Light and MJ enhanced ß-carotene and chlorophyll b, synthesis but not xanthophyll or chlorophyll a synthesis. The chlorophyll a/b ratio decreased with MJ dosage. Results suggest MJ may provide a viable means of enhancing apple fruit coloration and other photoprotective mechanisms. Chemical name used: methyl 3-oxo-2-(2-pentenyl)cyclopentane-1-acetate (methyl jasmonate).

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In order to investigate biochemical events occurring at the surface of apple skin, UV light exposure was used to generate a skin-browning reaction in apples. `Fuji' apple fruit that had been kept for 2 months in regular atmosphere storage at 0°C were exposed to short-wave UV light for 24 or 48 hr at 0°C or 23°C. After treatment, skin browning was monitored on fruit returned to 0°C storage or kept at room temperature under laboratory conditions. Fruit exposed to short-wave UV light at 0°C developed skin browning after 2 to 3 days at room temperature, whereas fruit held at 0°C did not show signs of skin browning until 7 days later. Short-wave UV exposure for 24 or 48 hr at 23°C resulted in skin browning that continued to develop on fruit kept at both room temperature and 0°C. When fruit were exposed to short-wave UV light for 72 hr at 0°C, a small amount of skin browning was already apparent. Long-wave UV light exposure for 48 hr had no observable effect on fruit treated at 0°C and then placed at room temperature. Our observations suggest that events that lead to browning are related to dispersion of energy absorbed by the hydrophobic molecules in the skin, a temperature dependent phenomenon.

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Total starch and amylose (AM) concentration and a starch index (SI) were determined in `Fuji' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) fruit from weekly harvests in 1990 and 1991. As apples matured, SI scores increased and total starch and amylose content decreased. The percentage of AM in the total starch decreased as the apples matured. Because KI solutions interact efficiently only with AM, the SI is less reliable in representing total starch during later stages of `Fuji' apple maturation.

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