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Abscission of cluster tomatoes commonly limits product marketability in the retail environment. Ripening and exogenous ethylene exposure are assumed to play important roles in cluster tomato fruit abscission. `Clarance' and `DRW7229' fruit harvested at either mature green or partially ripened stages did not abscise during storage for 2 weeks at 20 °C and 95% to 100% relative humidity (RH), although respiration and ethylene production indicated that all fruit reached the postclimacteric stage. Exogenous ethylene (1 or 10 ppm) exposure for 8 days at 20 °C and 95% to 100% RH also did not induce fruit abscission for either cultivar, although pedicel and sepal yellowing were observed. Fruit from clusters stored at 20 °C and 20% or 50% RH abscised if sepal shrivel became noticeable before the fruit reached the full red ripeness stage, while no abscission occurred in fruit that reached the full red stage prior to the appearance of sepal shrivel; no fruit stored in 95% to 100% RH abscised. Fruit that ripened prior to the appearance of sepal shrivel were “plugged” (i.e., tissue underlying the stem scar was pulled out) if manual fruit detachment from the pedicel was attempted. These results indicate that there is an interaction of water loss and fruit ripening in promoting abscission zone development in cluster tomatoes.

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Abstract

The effect of waxes and plastic shrink wraps on weight loss from papaya (Carica papaya L.) fruit during ripening was determined. Loss of ≈8% of initial weight from mature-green papaya produced “rubbery”, low-gloss, unsalable fruit. The rate of weight loss from ripening papaya was ≈0.1% initial weight/day per mbar. The highest rate of weight loss occurred via the stem scar (nearly 3500 mg·cm−2·day−1) while 4.4 mg·cm−2·day−1 was lost through the skin. The major mode of weight loss was the skin because of its larger surface area. The stomata did not appear to function in ripening fruit. The skin's resistance to water movement increased at the start of ripening, then declined with no apparent change in the rate of total water loss. Part of the decline in resistance was associated with the disruption of the cuticle with latex, especially after the 50% ripe stage. These results suggest that the major site of resistance to weight loss changed late in ripening. Fruit waxing reduced weight loss by 14% to 40%, while plastic shrink wraps reduced loss by ≈90%. The loss of water was the major component of weight loss. Some waxes and one wrap delayed ripening by 1 to 2 days at ambient temperatures, after storage for up to 2 weeks at 10C. Occasionally, off-flavors occurred in waxed and wrapped fruit when the fruit cavity CO2 level exceeded ≈7% at the full-ripe stage.

Open Access

Fruit water loss significantly affects the quality of bell peppers. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of fruit weight, size, and stage of ripeness on the rate of water loss and permeance to water vapor. Fruit surface area/weight ratio decreased logarithmically with increases in fruit size, with smaller fruit showing larger changes in the ratio than larger fruit. Mean water loss rate for individual fruit and permeance to water vapor declined with increases in fruit size and as fruit ripeness progressed. Fruit surface area/weight ratio and rate of water loss were both highest in immature fruit and showed no differences between mature green and red fruit. In mature fruit, permeance to water vapor for the skin and calyx were 29 μmol·m–2·s–1·kPa–1 and 398 μmol·m–2·s–1·kPa–1, respectively. About 26% of the water loss in mature fruit occurred through the calyx. There was a decline in firmness, water loss rate, and permeance to water vapor of the fruit with increasing fruit water loss during storage.

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We investigated water loss of shade trees over turf and asphalt in an arid and humid climate for Russian olive and silver maple. Total daily tree water loss, and dawn-to-dusk stomatal conductance (gs) and leaf temperature (Tl), as well as air temperature, surface temperature, and vapor pressure deficit, were measured in Logan, Utah, and Stillwater, Okla., in early and mid-summer. Midday air temperatures in mid-summer were similar at both locations, 30 to 35 °C. Comparable vapor pressure deficits (VPD, kPa) were much higher in Logan, 3.5–5.0, than Stillwater, 2–2.5. Differences in humidity and air temperature between asphalt and turf were negligible at both Stillwater and Logan. Midday surface temperatures for asphalt and turf averaged 34 and 50 °C, respectively, in Logan, but were 10 °C higher for both surfaces in Oklahoma. The effect of higher longwave radiation from hotter surfaces on stomatal conductance and water loss of trees over asphalt in Stillwater was not consistently different for either species from those over turf. However, at Logan, Tl of trees over asphalt were consistently 2 to 4 °C higher and gs was 10% to 20% lower than those over turf. Stomatal closure for trees over asphalt resulted in water loss that was the same or slightly lower as trees over turf. The effect of paved surfaces on tree water loss appears to be more pronounced in an arid than a humid climate. The combined effect of higher VPD in an arid region and greater longwave radiation from hotter paved surfaces induces stomatal closure that limits water loss, and likely photosynthesis. By contrast, in humid regions, increased tree radiation interception over asphalt does not appear to trigger stomatal closure due to lower VPD.

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Year-old seedlings of Acer rubrum L. and Crataegus phaenopyrum (L.f.) Medic. were grown for 1 year in a Groseclose silty clay loam. Seventy-two plant per species were harvested on 15 Dec. 1995 and weighed. Plants were stored at 4°C for 0, 1, 3, 5, 10, or 15 weeks. At the end of each storage period, 12 plants were weighed to determine water loss. Six plants were then sacrificed to determine percent embolism, and six plants were planted in a pine bark media and grown in a glasshouse for 15 weeks to determine the influence of storage on post-transplant growth and embolism recovery. Length of storage had no influence on embolism of Crataegus. Embolism of Acer increased linearly with increasing length of storage. Embolism was greater for Crataegus compared to Acer at each harvest. Water loss for both species increased linearly as time of storage increased.

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Abstract

Cineraria plants (Senecio cruentus DC) were transplanted into medium either with or without a hydrogel (polyethylene oxide). Half the plants in each medium were treated with a film-forming antitranspirant while half were not. Plants then were placed either in a clear glasshouse or a shaded glasshouse (40% shade), and no additional water was applied. Water loss was lowest for plants where both the foliage and medium were treated, whereas control plants (no treatment) lost water most rapidly regardless of light intensity. Plants which received only the hydrogel were similar in water loss to control plants at both light intensities. As water stress developed, net photosynthesis (Pn) decreased, reaching a zero rate at wilting; however, Pn measurements of treated leaves showed few significant differences due to treatment during the water stress period.

Open Access

Sweet potato is an important staple food crop in East Africa, but under local marketing conditions it has a shelf life of generally no longer than 2 weeks. As a result, the potential for marketing over longer distances is limited. The role of changes in sensory properties and weight loss as limiting factors for shelf-life were investigated. The important sensory attributes of five sweet potato cultivars were determined in discussion sessions with four taste panels and were: floury, sweet, chestnutty, grainy, smooth, soft, fibrous, discoloration, and moist. The sensory profiles of the five cultivars (KSP20, Kemb10, Yanshu 1, Pumpkin, and SPK004) differed significantly (P < 0.001). However, after 4 and 8 weeks under simulated tropical storage conditions (26 °C, 80% to 90% RH) no significant changes in the attributes were detected in most cases (P > 0.05). Changes in sensory properties were therefore not considered to limit shelf life. Shelf life experiments in Tanzania under simulated marketing conditions (26 + 5 °C, 50% to 60% RH) with 29 local cultivars revealed that roots with high rates of weight loss also rot rapidly. It was found that weight losses (primarily due to water loss) were high and varied significantly among cultivars (12% to 45% loss in 21 days). Further studies will investigate the structure and strength of the periderm as the main barrier to water loss to facilitate future cultivar selection.

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Abstract

The relative contributions of stomatal and cuticular water loss to desiccation of tissue-cultured apple (Malus domestica Borkh), cherry (Prunus avium × P. pseudocerasus), and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.) leaves after removal from culture were studied. Conductance from both abaxial and adaxial leaf surfaces was measured on plants immediately after removal from culture, after acclimatization, and after being subjected to water stress. In all species, stomatal conductance decreased significantly after acclimatization. Cuticular conductance was significant under some conditions and may have been due to damage resulting from tissue dehydration. The three species had quite different responses to imposed water stress. Responses appeared to be related to differences in stomatal functioning, cuticular integrity, and degree of acclimatization.

Open Access

C . annuum L., a closely allied species, postharvest deterioration (shrivelling and softening) has been mainly ascribed to water loss ( Maalekuu et al., 2005 ) with cultivar differences with respect to the time taken to loss of shelf life ( Lownds

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Seedling plugs of `Better Boy' tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were potted in 60% processed fiber: 40% perlite (by volume) media amended or nonamended with either crystalline or powdered hydrophilic polymer (2.4 kg·m-3), and treated with one of several concentrations (0%, 2.5%, 5%, 7.5%, and 10%) of antitranspirant GLK-8924, at the four true-leaf stage. Plants were either well-irrigated or subjected to short-term water stress, withholding water for 3 days, after antitranspirant GLK-8924 application. Leaf stomatal conductance, transpiration rate, whole-plant transpirational water loss, and growth were depressed by short-term water stress and antitranspirant GLK-8924. In contrast, hydrophilic polymer amendment increased plant growth, resulting in higher transpirational water loss. The depression of stomatal conductance and transpiration rate by short-term water stress was reversed completely in 2 days after rewatering while the reduction of plant growth rate diminished immediately. The effects of antitranspirant GLK-8924 were nearly proportional to its concentration and lasted 8 days on stomatal conductance and transpiration rate, 4 days on plant growth rate, and throughout the experimental period on plant height and transpirational water loss. Plant growth was reduced by antitranspirant GLK-8924 possibly by closing leaf stomata. In contrast, hydrophilic polymer amendment resulted in larger plants by factors other than influences attributed to stomatal status. Hydrophilic polymer amendment did not interact with antitranspirant GLK-8924 on all variables measured. The application of antitranspirant GLK-8924 was demonstrated to be useful for regulating plant water status, plant growth, and protecting plants from short-term water stress.

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