New Mexican Chile peppers (Capsicum annuum L. `New Mexico 6-4') were harvested at weekly intervals beginning 20 days after flowering (DAF), and were evaluated for ethylene (C2 H4) production, respiration rates, chlorophyll content, degradative enzyme activity (cellulase, polygalacturonase, ß-galactosidase), and fruit firmness. Morphological and physiological changes were most apparent in peppers harvested 54 to 69 DAF. ß-galactosidase activity increased rapidly beginning 54 DAF and reached a peak by 89 DAF. Fruit firmness was highest (36 newtons) at 54 DAF and had decreased significantly by 69 DAF. Carbon dioxide production and chlorophyll content were highest in young pods harvested 20 DAF and decreased steadily thereafter. A climacteric increase of CO, was absent. There were two peaks in C2 H4 production: one associated with rapid fruit growth and the other with color change (61 to 69 DAF). Fruit harvested on the same day but at different developmental stages (green to red) were similar to those observed in fruit harvested over the season for the physiological characteristics tested. Separation of pepper fruit soluble proteins on SDS-PAGE demonstrated increased intensity in protein bands at 27, 35, and 40 kDa and decreased intensity of 51 kDa band as the fruit matured. Several biochemical processes appeared to be enhanced in Chile pepper fruit from 47 to 69 DAF.
The properties of sucrose synthase (SS) isozymes partially purified from immature fruit (SS I) of Japanese pear (Pyrus serotina Rehder var. culta Rehder) were different than those of mature fruit (SS II). A clear difference in elusion pattern during DEAE-cellulose chromatography was observed, although the apparent molecular weight of the native proteins extracted from both stages was 350 kD. The Km value of SS II for UDP was similar to that for UDP-glucose; while with SS I, the Km for UDP was lower than that for UDP-glucose. This suggests that SS II activity favors sucrose synthesis compared with SS I, which favors sucrose cleavage. The optimum pH for activity toward sucrose synthesis was 8.0 for SS II and 8.5 to 9.5 for SS I. SS II from mature fruit may be an isozyme of SS occurring during periods of rapid sucrose accumulation, while SS I from immature fruit is more similar to the typical SS which functions mainly toward sucrose cleavage in many plants.
Physiological disorder occurred in a recently developed oriental melon cultivar, `Gumssaragi-Bunchun' (Cucumis melo var. makuwa), is involved with the appearance of water soaking area in placenta and can be extended to the pulp when severely affected. Physiological changes between normal and disordered fruits were compared. Ethanol soluble sugars were significantly decreased in both pulp and placenta tissue of disordered fruits whereas acidity was increased. Ethanol and acetaldehyde accumulation were confirmed in juice from disordered fruits, which were net detectable in normal ones. The contents of boron and calcium, especially water and HCl soluble calcium, were fairly low in disordered pulp. Also, there was a great difference in pectin content between both fruit tissue and severe hydrolysis of water soluble pectins isolated from disordered placenta was found by gel chromatography. However, the hydrolysis of pectins seemed not to be associated with the increase of wall hydrolase activities such as polygalacturonase and β-galactosidase.
Maturity standards that determine when navel oranges can be harvested in California are currently based upon the ratio of soluble solids content (SSC) to titratable acidity (TA) and the rind color of the fruit. These standards may be inadequate to describe the quality of the fruit, which is important given the increased competition from other commodities in the marketplace and declining consumption of fresh citrus. To reevaluate the basis of the maturity standard, navel oranges were harvested at intervals throughout the season and evaluated for SSC, TA, juice ethanol concentration, percent juice, peel coloration, and sensory characteristics. Three varieties of navel oranges, representing early-, mid- and late-season maturities, were used. SSC: TA ratios averaged 6.3 at the beginning of the season and steadily increased to 23.4 at the end of the season. Changes in the hedonic rating, or likeability of the fruit taste as rated by the sensory panelists, were closely related to the SSC: TA ratio and ratings of sweetness and tartness. These relationships showed a similar pattern for all of the navel varieties. A hedonic rating of 6 (like slightly) was not reached until the SSC: TA ratio exceeded the current legal minimum of 8:1, suggesting that the standard should be raised. Juice ethanol levels and percent juice did not have any apparent influence on the sensory ratings. Fruit that were run over a packing line and waxed developed higher amounts of ethanol during storage than control fruit but did not differ substantially from them in hedonic rating.
Changes in rind firmness and cell wall polysaccharide composition were measured in fruit with a) a soft rind, (`Satsuma' mandarin, Citrus unshiu Marc., cv. Aoshima), and b) a firm rind (hassaku, C. hassaku Hort. ex Tanaka), from August to January of the following year. Rind firmness was similar in both species in August, but hassaku had significantly firmer rind than did mandarin from September to January. Both flavedo and albedo tissues were extracted, and the extracts were hydrolyzed and fractionated to yield four fractions: (hot water, EDTA, hemicellulose, and cellulose). In flavedo tissue, sugar concentration was highest in the cellulose fraction, and lowest in the hemicellulose fraction. The concentration in all fractions decreased as the fruit developed and matured. Although the sugar concentration in the cellulose and EDTA fractions of both species was similar in August, it was significantly higher in both fractions in hassaku than in mandarin in January. The sugar concentration of each fraction from albedo tissue was in the order: cellulose > hemicellulose > hot water > EDTA. The range of variation in cell wall sugars in albedo tissue was smaller than that in flavedo tissue. Chemical name used: ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA).
Effects of fertilizer application levels on fruit texture and flesh pectin compositions of a melting peach were investigated. Hakuho trees (Prunus persica Batsch) were supplied with normal (M), high (H; M × 2), and superhigh (SH; M × 4) levels of complete liquid fertilizer twice a week. Flesh firmness of the H and SH treatment fruit was lower than that of M treatment fruit at the hard-mature and firm-mature stages, although no difference was detected at the full ripe stage. Sensory scores for flesh texture at the full ripe stage were highest in the N treatment fruit and lowest in the SH treatment fruit. The content of water-soluble polyuronides (WSP) in flesh was highest in SH fruit and lowest in M fruit at the hard-mature stage, although the difference became smaller at the full ripe stage. Molecular mass analysis using a gel filtration column revealed that water-soluble polysaccharides in alcohol-insoluble solids (AIS) of the H and SH fruits had a peak of high molecular mass, ≈200 kDa, at the hard-mature stage, and the molecular mass decreased gradually to ≈23 kDa at the full ripe stage. In the M fruit, however, the molecular mass was rather constant during the ripening period, 112 kDa even at the full ripe stage. The analysis of acidic fractions (pectin) in the polysaccharides using an ion exchange column, as well as juice gellation test by adding Ca and Tris buffer, also indicated that high levels of fertilizer application impairs an early degradation of flesh polyuronides resulting in the accumulation of low-molecular-weight WSP. This may ultimately cause the inferior flesh texture of overfertilized peach fruit.
Chilling accumulation infuence dormancy of grapevines and determines budbreak. Under desert conditions, hydrogen cyanamide (H2CN2) improve bud opening. To increase even further the quantity and uniformity of bud break, the effect of fall evap rative cooling (EC) alone or in combination with H2CN2(2.5%v/v was evaluated. Microsplinklers operated for 40 seconds at 10 min intervals from 10:00 h to 17:00 h, from 20 oct to 18 dec 1990. H2CN2 was applied on 21 dec, one day after pruning.
Cyanamide treated plants or with the chemical + EC, had 19% and 32% budbreak, respectively, by jan 15. Control or EC vines opened until feb 20, and reached 40% and 57% final values by mar 25. Therefore, cyanamide and EC acted sinergisti cally to open buds earlier and uniformily, although not on final budbreak.
Harvest started may 8 with cyanamide + EC, five days earlier than cyanamide alone; by may 13, accumulated harvest was 39% and 13% respectively, and of 92% and 77% by may 28. Control vines with or without EC, were harvested early may to mid june.
The terminology used to describe developmental stages of fruits is often confusing or even misleading. “Mature” and “ripe” are often used synonymously. We find reference to “green” fruit, based on skin or peel color, used interchangeably with “unripe”, the latter without referring to pigmentation but rather to a state of non-palatability. We see in the literature such words used synonymously as “overripe” and “senescent” in describing a fruit in a very late stage of development. Such terms as “early maturity”, “optimum maturity”, or “full maturity” leave some doubt as to what stage is actually under consideration. At best, different authors are not always referring to the same stage, even when dealing with the same fruit.
A 500 ppm gibberellin A3 (GA) spray applied shortly after full bloom to unemasculated peach flowers caused some fruit to develop parthenocarpically. Nonparthenocarpic fruit sprayed with GA were similar to parthenocarpic fruit in their elongated shape and advanced maturity, and dissimilar to unsprayed control fruit. The applied GA, rather than a lack of ovule development, is therefore primarily responsible for alterations in shape and maturity of parthenocarpic peaches.
Uneven-ripening ‘Concord’ grapes were treated with 250 ppm gibberellic acid (GA3) about 2 weeks prior to harvest. “Green” berries responded with increased rate of ripening over untreated “green” berries as measured by soluble solids and anthocyanin content. GA3-treated berries also developed a callus-like layer between the pedicel and the skin which delayed drop also resulting in more evenly ripened clusters. In uneven-ripening clusters, “green” in contrast to “colored” berries had significantly fewer seeds and many of these seeds had aborted.