One-year-old potted `Mutsu' apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] trees on scion invigorating Malling-Merton 111 (MM.111) and scion dwarfing Malling 9 (M.9) rootstocks were grown outdoors in containers under three levels of water availability (irrigated at -20, -80, and -200 kPa) to investigate the effects of soil water availability on combined soil/root (rhizosphere) respiration rates, and developmental morphology of root systems. Rhizosphere respiration was measured with a portable infrared gas analyzer, and root biomass was estimated by electrical capacitance. These nondestructive measurements were compared with final root dry weights of harvested trees, to determine their reliability for estimating relative differences in root biomass. Water stress reduced final biomass similarly for both rootstocks, but the relative reduction in shoot growth was greater for MM.111. Root to shoot ratios were higher and average specific root respiration was lower for M.9 rootstock compared with MM.111. M.9 appeared to be more tolerant of water stress then MM.111, due to reduced canopy transpiration relative to root system mass. Water stress increased root to shoot ratios, specific root length, and the carbohydrate costs of root maintenance as indicated by specific respiration rates. Root dry weight (DW) was better correlated to rhizosphere respiration than to root electric capacitance. The observed r 2 values between root capacitance and root DW were as high as 0.73, but capacitance measurements were also influenced by soil water content and rootstock type. Electrical capacitance estimated total root biomass more accurately for M.9 than for MM.111.
Environmental factors such as rainfall may reduce the efficacy of foliar-applied soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] oil in reducing pest mortality. Greenhouse studies were conducted to investigate the influence of rain on the retention of soybean oil and the influence of soybean oil and rainfall on surface morphology of apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] and peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch (Peach Group)] leaves and stems. `Contender' peach and `Golden Delicious'/Malling 27 apple trees were grown in 19 L pots in a greenhouse (23 ± 9 °C) and sprayed with soybean oil (1%) emulsified with the adjuvants Latron B-1956 or K1. Twenty-four hours after treatment, the trees were subjected to simulated rainfall of 0.0, 0.25, 1.25, or 2.54 cm. A negative linear relationship existed between rainfall and oil retention. Peach leaves receiving 0.25, 1.25, and 2.54 cm rainfall retained 81%, 38%, and 18% of the applied oil, respectively. Oil retention by apple leaves was also negatively related to rainfall. For both species, a negative linear relationship existed between oil retention on stems and rainfall. There was no effect of emulsifier on retention of 1% soybean oil after rain on apple leaves or on the retention of 8% to 11% soybean oil on the stems of apple and peach. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that epicuticular wax occurred as striations on apple and peach leaves. The wax morphology on peach and apple stems appeared as thin plates and platelets, respectively. The wax morphology of leaves and stems of both trees was not affected either by the soybean oil emulsions or rain. Both emulsions induced stomatal closure in leaves and peach stems, however, stomates opened after rainfall of 1.25 or 2.54 cm. The lenticels appeared to be unaffected by either emulsion. Results illustrate that rainfall of 2.54 cm washed off a major portion of the applied oil. Thus, respraying may be needed under natural climatic conditions with rainfall ≥2.54 cm to restore the efficacy of applied soybean oil.
Bench-grafted `Fuji' apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] trees on Malling 26 (M.26) rootstocks were fertigated for 6 weeks with N concentrations ranging from 0 to 20 mm. These treatments produced levels of leaf N ranging from 0.9 to 4.3 g·m-2. Over this range, leaf absorptance increased curvilinearly from 74.8% to 92.5%. The light saturation point for CO2 assimilation expressed on the basis of absorbed light increased linearly at first with increasing leaf N, then reached a plateau at a leaf N content of ≈3 g·m-2. Under high light conditions (photosynthetic photon flux of 1500 μmol·m-2·s-1), the amount of absorbed light in excess of that required to saturate CO2 assimilation decreased with increasing leaf N. Chlorophyll fluorescence measurements revealed that the maximum photosystem II (PSII) efficiency of dark-adapted leaves was relatively constant over the leaf N range, except for a slight decrease at the lower end. As leaf N increased, nonphotochemical quenching declined under high light, and there was an increase in the efficiency with which the absorbed photons were delivered to open PSII centers. The photochemical quenching coefficient remained high except for a decrease at the lower end of the leaf N range. Actual PSII efficiency increased curvilinearly with increasing leaf N, and was highly correlated with light-saturated CO2 assimilation. The fraction of absorbed light potentially going into singlet oxygen formation was estimated to be ≈10%, regardless of leaf N status. It was concluded that there was more excess absorbed light in low N leaves than in high N leaves under high light conditions. Nonphotochemical quenching was enhanced with decreasing leaf N to reduce both the PSII efficiency and the probability of damage from photooxidation by excess absorbed light.
Aroma and flavor characters of `Gala' apples [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf. `Gala'] were identified by 10 trained panelists. A vocabulary of 13 aroma descriptors and 16 flavor descriptors were used to characterize changes in controlled atmosphere (CA) and air, or regular atmosphere (RA) storage over 20 weeks. When compared with RA storage, the intensity of fruity (pear, banana, and strawberry) and floral descriptors decreased after 10 weeks in CA for whole and cut fruit aroma and flavor. During the entire storage period under CA, aroma of cut apples retained high vegetative and citrus characters but had a less intense anise aroma. Sourness and astringency were significantly higher for CA-stored apples, and sweetness was significantly lower. A musty note was perceived in whole apples stored in CA for 20 weeks. Aroma of whole fruit stored for 16 weeks in CA followed by 4 weeks in RA was higher in fruitiness, banana, floral, and anise characters when compared with apples stored 20 weeks in CA. There was no difference between fruit stored in CA followed by RA versus CA stored apples for flavor and aroma of cut fruit. Changes in descriptor ratings during storage are discussed in relation to gas chromatography and olfactometry data obtained with the Osme method.
Volatile emissions and chlorophyll fluorescence were investigated as potential signals of heat injury for apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] fruit. `McIntosh', `Cortland', `Jonagold', and `Northern Spy' apples were exposed to 46 °C for 0, 4, 8, or 12 hours (heat treatments). Following treatments, fruit were kept at 20 °C and evaluated after 1, 2, 4, or 7 days. Heat treatments induced volatile production including ethanol and ethyl acetate. The 8 and 12 hours heat treatments increased ethanol and ethyl acetate production in all four cultivars by as much as 170- and 11-fold, respectively, 1 day after treatments. Heat treatments also reduced ethylene production and chlorophyll fluorescence. Heat for 12 hours caused serious flesh browning. Among the cultivars investigated, `Northern Spy' and `McIntosh' were most susceptible to heat stress based on the degree of flesh browning. Correlation coefficients of heat stress induced ethanol emission and chlorophyll fluorescence with flesh browning were 0.82 and -0.66, respectively. The nondestructive measurements of ethanol emission and chlorophyll fluorescence have potential to identify stressed fruit with reduced quality or compromised storage life.
Experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of BA, removal of bourse shoot tips including only folded leaves and growing point, and different numbers of leaves per fruit on fruit retention and fruit development in `More-Spur McIntosh'/Malling 7 (M.7) apple trees [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.]. Removal of the bourse shoot tip increased fruit retention, whereas BA thinned fruit regardless of whether shoot tips were removed or not. There was no interaction between BA application and shoot tipping. BA thinned fruit only when one leaf per fruit was on a girdled small fruiting branch, but not when leaf number per fruit was two or greater. Fruit weight and soluble solids concentration increased dramatically with increasing leaf number per fruit. BA reduced fruit growth rate when <16 leaves per fruit were present on the girdled branches between 3 and 7 days after treatment, but it did not affect fruit growth rate when 32 leaves per fruit were on the girdled branches. Increasing leaf number also increased viable seed number per fruit while decreasing the number of aborted seeds, but it had no effect on the number of total seeds per fruit. BA reduced the number of viable seeds per fruit only when the number of leaves per fruit was less than four. Results suggest that BA thins apple fruit mainly by reducing carbohydrates available to developing fruitlets. Chemical name used: N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purine-6-amine [benzyladenine (BA)].
Effect of crop load on tree growth, leaf characteristics, photosynthesis, and fruit quality of 5-year-old `Braeburn' apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] trees on Malling 26 (M.26) rootstock was examined during the 1994-95 growing season. Crop loads ranged from 0 to 57 kg/tree [0 to 1.6 kg fruit/cm2 trunk cross sectional area (TCA) or 0 to 8.7 fruit/cm2 TCA]. Fruit maturity as indicated by background color, starch/iodine score, and soluble solids was advanced significantly on low-cropping trees compared to high-cropping trees. Whole-canopy leaf area and percentage tree light interception increased linearly with a significant trend as crop load decreased. From midseason until fruit harvest, leaf photosynthesis decreased significantly on lighter cropping trees and similarly, a positive linear trend was found between whole-canopy gas exchange per unit area of leaf and crop load. Leaf starch concentration in midseason increased linearly as crop load decreased, providing some explanation for the increased down-regulation of photosynthesis on trees with lower crop loads. After fruit harvest, the previous crop loads had no effect on leaf photosynthesis and preharvest differences in whole-canopy gas exchange per unit area of leaf were less pronounced. At each measurement date, daily whole-canopy net carbon exchange and transpiration closely followed the diurnal pattern of incident photosynthetic photon flux. The photochemical yield and electron transport capacity depended on crop load. This was due mostly to reaction center closure before harvest and an increased nonphotochemical quenching after harvest.
BA was applied at 50 or 100 mg·L-1 to `More-Spur McIntosh'/Malling 7 (M.7) apple trees [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] at the 10 mm stage of fruit development. BA thinned fruit and increased fruit size. There were two distinguishable peaks of fruit abscission during `June drop'. BA accentuated the naturally occurring waves of fruit abscission, and enhanced translocation of 14C-sorbitol from leaves to fruit when applied directly to the fruit, but not when applied directly to the leaves. Net photosynthesis was decreased and dark respiration was increased when temperature following BA application was high (30 °C), whereas there was no effect when temperature was lower (20 °C). Total nonstructural carbohydrates, total soluble sugars, and starch in the leaves decreased dramatically over the 12- or 13-day observation period, regardless of BA treatment. These carbohydrate concentrations in the leaves were lowered further by BA application. Abscising fruit, based on specific reddening of the pedicel, had higher carbohydrate levels than persisting fruit, regardless of BA application. We conclude that BA thins fruit, at least in part, by increasing dark respiration and decreasing net photosynthesis. Chemical name used: N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purine-6-amine [benzyladenine (BA)].
Three experiments were conducted at two locations, two at Summerland, British Columbia, Canada and one at Corvallis, Ore., to evaluate synthetic auxins (MCPB-ethyl or NAA) and ethephon as blossom thinners for `Fuji' apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.]. These experiments also involved application of carbaryl at 1000 mg·L-1 in the postbloom period. All blossom thinners were sprayed at 85% full bloom while carbaryl was applied at 11-mm fruit diameter. Within these experiments, MCPB-ethyl at up to 20 mg·L-1 or NAA at up to 21 mg·L-1 increased whole flower cluster removal linearly with rate; however, with the Corvallis experiment MCPB-ethyl failed to result in any thinning. Neither auxin treatment consistently reduced fruit set on the remaining clusters, resulting in “clustering”. Bloom-time application of ethephon at 100 mg·L-1 with NAA further reduced crop load. Carbaryl reduced total crop load by increasing both whole cluster removal and number of sites with a single fruit. Return flowering was not improved by the auxin treatments except where there was very excessive crop reduction. Ethephon or carbaryl promoted return flowering with the carbaryl effect being more pronounced. However, this carbaryl effect was significantly countered by the bloom-time auxin whereas ethephon overcame the negative effects of the auxin treatments. The combined use of ethephon and carbaryl was effective in terms of both crop reduction and return flowering benefits. Chemical names used: 1-naphthyl N-methylcarbamate (carbaryl); 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon); ethyl 4-(4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy) butanoate (MCPB-ethyl); and 2-(1-naphthyl) acetic acid (NAA).
Apples [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf. (`Gala', `Delicious', `Granny Smith' and `Fuji')], pretreated or nontreated with 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP, 0.6 to 1.0 μL·L–1 for 18 hours at 20 °C), were stored in controlled atmosphere (CA, 1 to 1.5 kPa O2; 1 to 2 kPa CO2) or in regular atmosphere (RA) for up to 8 months at 1 °C. Firmness, titratable acidity (TA), soluble solids content (SSC), and volatile abundance were analyzed every month directly or after transfer to air at 20 °C for 1 week to determine effect of 1-MCP, storage atmosphere and storage time on apple quality immediately after cold storage and after simulated marketing conditions at 20 °C. The 1-MCP ± CA treatments delayed ripening and prolonged storage life as indicated by delayed loss of firmness and TA in all four cultivars during storage. The 1-MCP ± CA also slightly delayed loss of SSC for `Gala' but had no effect on SSC levels for the other cultivars. There were differences among treatments for firmness and TA content [(1-MCP + RA) > CA] for `Gala', `Delicious', and `Granny Smith' apples, but not for `Fuji'. These differences were generally exacerbated after transfer of fruit to 20 °C for 1 week. A combination of 1-MCP + CA was generally best [(1-MCP + CA) > (1-MCP + RA) or CA] for maintaining `Delicious' firmness and TA. However, the treatments that were most effective at retaining TA and firmness also retained the least volatiles. The results indicate that the efficacy of 1-MCP and CA in maintaining apple quality factors is cultivar dependent and that 1-MCP + RA may be a viable alternative to CA for optimal eating quality for some cultivars.