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P.R. Johnstone, T.K. Hartz, M. LeStrange, J.J. Nunez and E.M. Miyao

Fruit soluble solids concentration (SSC) is an important quality factor for tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) grown for processing. The use of drip irrigation often results in undesirably low SSC. The effects of late-season irrigation management on fruit yield and SSC was investigated in a series of drip-irrigated field trials in California from 2000–04. The effects of irrigation cutoff or deficit irrigation implemented 40 to 50 days preharvest (the period corresponding to the initiation of fruit ripening) were compared to a standard grower practice of irrigation cutoff 20 days preharvest. Irrigation cutoff 40 to 50 days preharvest increased SSC but resulted in substantial yield loss, with significantly reduced brix yield (Mg fruit solids ha-1). By contrast, deficit irrigation significantly increased SSC compared to the standard practice, with no significant loss of brix yield. In three commercial fields the effect of deficit irrigation on fruit SSC was investigated. Fruits were sampled on three dates: 1) 4 to 5 weeks preharvest, early-ripening, pink-stage fruit only, 2) about 1 week preharvest, both late-ripening, pink-stage fruit and early-ripening fruit now fully ripe, and 3) commercial harvest, composite of early- and late-maturing fruit. SSC increased in response to soil moisture stress induced by deficit irrigation, with late-maturing fruit as much as 1.6 °brix higher than fruit maturing before significant soil moisture stress. However, once a fruit reached the pink stage of maturity, its SSC was not affected by subsequent soil moisture stress. An additional five commercial field trials were conducted to compare growers' irrigation practices with greater degrees of deficit irrigation. In each field the grower's deficit irrigation regime was compared to a reduced treatment receiving 25% to 50% less water over the final 4 to 7 weeks before harvest. Across fields, applying 20% to 60% of reference evapotranspiration (ETo) over the fruit ripening period resulted in acceptable SSC without significant brix yield reduction. We conclude that deficit irrigation initiated during early fruit ripening provides a flexible tool for SSC management. Brix monitoring of earliest ripening fruit can help classify fields as to the severity of irrigation deficit required to reach desirable SSC at harvest.

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Angela R. Davis, Penelope Perkins-Veazie, Julie Collins and Amnon Levi

Increasing percent fruit total soluble solids (TSS) content has been a priority for many breeding programs. Perkins-Veazie et al. (2006) reported that the TSS content of modern watermelon [ Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum

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Juanita Popenoe and Tara Auxt Baugher

Photosynthesis, light (PAR) and transpiration were measured with an ADC portable infrared gas analyzer on apples and grapes. Measurements were taken on north and south sides of the rows, in the morning and afternoon, on sun and shade leaves, and with the leaf chamber in a horizontal position and in a natural leaf orientation position. Measurements were made on three cloudless days in August 1990 and 1991. Subsequently, fruit adjacent to sampled leaves were harvested and soluble solids determined. Sampled leaves were then harvested and leaf areas and dry weights measured. Correlation coefficients of variables were then subjected to analysis of variance to determine which techniques gave the best correlations. Grapes and apples responded differently. For grapes, soluble solids were most closely correlated to light and photosynthesis measurements when measured on south side shade leaves, while with apples, blush side soluble solids were best correlated with measurements on south side sun leaves in the afternoon. Specific leaf weight was best correlated to photosynthesis and light with grapes when measured on north side sun leaves and with apples when measured on the south side in the morning.

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Carmen Feller and Matthias Fink

The objective was to provide results to optimize the production of table beet (Beta vulgaris L.) with respect to yield and quality. Field experiments were carried out over 2 years, where the effects of nitrogen (N) supply, sowing date, and cultivar were tested in a block design with four replications. In addition to yield, soluble solids and nitrate N contents of roots were measured to assess quality. Sowing date was an important factor for determining yield and quality of table beet. Sowing dates later than June at the experimental site are not recommended because they resulted in an increase in nitrate N content in fresh weight of up to 3027 mg·kg-1 and an average yield loss of 46% compared to sowings in April. Soluble solids content (SSC) was only slightly affected by planting date. Nitrogen supply did not affect SSC, but increasing N supply led to a major increase in nitrate N content, especially if combined with late sowing dates. It was concluded for early sowing dates that N supply be determined to achieve the maximum yield. With an early sowing date, nitrate N content in fresh weight at harvest was <563 mg·kg-1, even with a high N supply of 250 kg·ha-1. Late sowing dates required a reduced N supply to keep harvest nitrate contents below the 2500 mg·kg-1 required by the processing industry. Recommendations for optimizing N supply, sowing date, and cultivars for table beet should always take into account strong interactions between these factors.

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Zen-hong Shü, Cheng-chung Chu, Lee-juan Hwang and Ching-shung Shieh

A study was conducted to assess the combined effects of light, temperature and sucrose on color, weight, diameter, and soluble solids of the skin of wax apple (Syzygium samarangense Merr. & Perry) fruits. Skin disks were cultured in a factorial arrangement of two light levels [dark or light (300 μmol·m-2·s-1)] as subplots and three sucrose concentrations (0%, 3%, or 6%) as sub-subplots within three temperature levels (20, 25, or 30 °C) as whole plot treatments. Weight, diameter, soluble solids concentration (SSC), and anthocyanin content were measured 2 weeks after incubation. Light increased SSC and anthocyanin, but reduced the increase in weight and diameter. Increasing the temperature limited increase in diameter and anthocyanin content. Weight, SSC, and anthocyanin contents increased in a linear fashion with concentration of sucrose in the culture solution. However, none of the three factors played a unique role in anthocyanin synthesis in wax apple. Among the 18 combinations, light/20°C/6% sucrose gave the highest SSC and anthocyanin content, while dark/20°C/6% sucrose produced the largest diameter.

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Stephen M. Olson

Inadequate available Ca can cause blossom end rot in watermelons. Many products and materials are marketed to try and help reduce this problem. A 3 X 3 factorial was set up with three soil Ca treatments (none, 1120 kg/ha of dolomite and 1120 kg/ha of qypsum) and three foliar Ca treatments (none, Liqui-Cal at 9.35 L/ha and Foli-Cal at 4.67 L/ha) using both a seeded (2N) and seedless (3N) cultivar. Mehlich-1Ca level prior to planting was 305 ppm. None of the Ca treatments affected leaf or fruit Ca levels. Applied Ca treatments did not affect total yields, fruit weight, or percent soluble solids of the seedless cultivar (Crimson Trio). Yield of `Royal Flush' (2N) was reduced by application of Foli-Cal, but none of the other parameters were affected by the other Ca treatments. Leaf Ca level of `Royal Flush' (3.05%) was almost twice that of `Crimson Trio' (1.59%), while fruit Ca content of `Royal Flush' (0.26%) was lower than that of `Crimson Trio' (0.32%).

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J.E.P. Debaene, I.L. Goldman and B.S. Yandell

Two mild and two pungent onion (Allium cepa L.) selections (hereafter referred to as cultitypes), W420B, W424B, MSU8155B, and Exhibition, were grown at two locations in two states (Wisconsin and Oregon) during 1994 and 1995. Onion bulbs were harvested, stored at 4 °C and sampled for antiplatelet activity, pungency, and soluble solids 10 days after harvest and every 40 days during a 210-day postharvest storage period. Significant cultitype × state and cultitype × year interactions were detected. However, these were primarily due to the change in rank of cultitypes within the mild or pungent group. Averaged over all environments, antiplatelet activity was significantly greater in 1994 compared to 1995 for all cultitypes. Significantly greater antiplatelet activity was measured for three out of four cultitypes grown in Oregon compared to Wisconsin. During postharvest storage, antiplatelet activity increased 61% and 56% across all cultitypes and across both states during 1994, and across all cultitypes in Wisconsin during 1995, respectively. Although pungency determination can be a good indicator for relative rankings of different cultitypes for antiplatelet activity, changes in pungency were not correlated with changes in antiplatelet activity during postharvest storage. Results demonstrate cultitype, environment, duration of postharvest storage and genotype × environment interactions influence pungency, soluble solids, and antiplatelet activity, which should be considered when assessing onion-induced antiplatelet activity.

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Kathryn S. Orvis and Irwin L. Goldman

Heart attack and stroke, a leading cause of death in the United States, have been associated with blood platelet aggregation. Onion extract inhibits blood platelet aggregation both in vitro and in vivo. Current trends toward natural foods and health remedies may point to the importance of onion-induced antiplatelet activity (OIAA). The genetic control of OIAA has yet to be revealed. One-hundred-eighty-three F3 families were derived from a long-day mild inbred line crossed to a long-day pungent inbred line that differ by for OIAA by 67%. Families were grown in a RCB design with two replications in muck soil (Randolph, Wis.) in 1997. Extracts were made from crushing bulb tissue in a mechanical juicer. F3 families were evaluated for OIAA and soluble solids (SS). OIAA was measured by electrical impedance aggregometry using two human blood donors. Endpoint (ohms) and slope of the aggregation curve were recorded. SS were measured by refractometry. F3 families were significantly different for OIAA and SS (P < 0.0001) in the ANOVA. A strong positive correlation of 0.96 was revealed for slope of curve and endpoint across families, replications, and blood donors. This correlation has not been previously reported for onion and suggests that for these families, descriptions of OIAA based on either rate of aggregation or endpoint are functionally equivalent. Both SS and OIAA exhibit transgressive segregation in this group of F3 families. Twenty percent exhibit OIAA stronger than the pungent parent and 5% were less than the mild parent. The family with the highest OIAA was 4-fold higher than the pungent parent of the cross, which could be useful in future onion breeding efforts. In addition, transgressive segregation in these families aids in QTL investigations for OIAA, SS and other economically important traits.

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K.H.S. Peiris, G.G. Dull, R.G. Leffler and S.J. Kays

Spatial variation in soluble solids content (SSC) of fruits of apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh. cv. Red Delicious), cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L. Cantaloupensis group), grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf. cv. Indian River Ruby Red), honeydew melon (Cucumis melo L. Inodorus group), mango (Mangifera indica L. cv. Hayden), orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck. cv. Valencia), peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch. cv. Windblow), pineapple (Ananas comosus L. Merr. cv. Kew) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), and of bulbs of onion (Allium cepa L. Cepa group) and in dry-matter content (DMC) of potato (Solanum tuberosum L. cv. Russet Burbank) tubers was measured along three directional orientations (i.e., proximal to distal, circumferentially midway along the proximal to distal axis, and radially from the center of the interior to the outer surface). The pattern and magnitude of constituent variation depended on the type of product and the direction of measurement. Radial and proximal to distal variation was greater than circumferential variation in all the products tested. Honeydew had the highest radial variation with a SSC difference of 6.0 % and a cv of 22.8%, while tomato displayed lower radial variation with a cv of 1.0%. Pineapple had a proximal to distal SSC difference of 4.6% with a cv of 13.8%, while the difference in tomato was 0.6% with a cv of 5.1%. Circumferential variation of SSC in all products tested was <2% with cv ranging from 1.1% to 3.8%. The results confirm that considerable constituent variability exists within individual fruit and vegetable organs. This variability may affect the accuracy of calibration equations and their prediction capability. Therefore, within-unit constituent variability should be meticulously assessed when an NIR spectrometric method is being developed for the nondestructive quality evaluation and sorting of a product.