Field experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of sprayer type, airflow rate, and nozzle output on deposition of active ingredient and mechanical harvesting of `Valencia' orange (Citrus sinensis). Fruit detachment force (FDF) and percentage of fruit removal (PFR) by trunk shaker were used as mechanical harvesting parameters. A PowerBlast sprayer discharging radially and a Titan sprayer discharging over the entire canopy were used. The spray mixture contained an abscission chemical (CMN-pyrazole), a surfactant (Kinetic) and a fluorescent tracer (Pyranine-10G). Deposition was determined at three different heights outside and inside of the canopy. With the PowerBlast, higher airflow and lower nozzle output reduced deposition of the active ingredient. The mean FDF of sprayed treatments was less than that of the non-sprayed control but the difference among the four spray treatments was not significant. The lower airflow rate with lower nozzle output had higher PFR than that of the control. With the Titan sprayer, the mean deposition at lower airflow was similar to or higher than the higher airflow. At higher airflow, the lower nozzle output gave higher mean deposition. The Titan sprayer treatments resulted in less FDF than the control. At both airflow rates, the FDF was less at lower nozzle output than at higher nozzle output. The PFR of these treatments were not different from that of control.
Muhammad Farooq, Masoud Salyani and Jodie D. Whitney
Jacqueline K. Burns, Richard S. Buker III and Fritz M. Roka
An abscission agent [5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-1H-pyrazole (CMNP)] was applied to `Hamlin' and `Valencia' orange (Citrus sinensis) trees at concentrations ranging from 0 to 500 ppm in a volume of 300 gal/acre. Four days after application, fruit were mechanically harvested with either a trunk shake-and-catch or a continuous canopy shake-and-catch system commercially used in Florida. Harvesting conditions were varied by limiting the actual trunk shake time of the trunk shaker to 2, 4, or 7 seconds, or by altering the ground speed of the canopy shaker (1.0, 1.5, or 2.0 mph). In general, increasing duration of shake and the application of CMNP increased percent mature fruit removal and decreased the amount of fruit remaining in the tree. Increasing CMNP concentration decreased fruit detachment force but increased post-spray fruit drop. Comparison of short duration shake times in CMNP-applied trees with trees harvested at longer durations either sprayed or not sprayed with CMNP indicated no significant difference in percent mature fruit removal. The results demonstrate that CMNP application increases harvesting capacity of trunk and canopy shakers by reducing time necessary to harvest each tree while maintaining high percent mature fruit removal.
Rongcai Yuan, Ulrich Hartmond and Walter J. Kender
The seasonal abscission response of mature `Valencia' oranges [Citrus sinensis (L.)Osb.] to 5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-1H-pyrazole (CMN-Pyrazole) was examined in relation to young fruit, shoot, and root growth. CMN-Pyrazole dramatically increased ethylene production in fruit and effectively reduced the fruit detachment force (FDF), except in a period of reduced response to CMN-Pyrazole in early May. Root growth was inhibited by trunk girdling, in combination with removal of spring vegetative flushes and flowers, but not by their removal alone. During the responsive period, there was no difference in both ethylene production and FDF of CMN-Pyrazole-treated mature oranges between 1) the unmanipulated trees and those manipulated by either 2) girdling, removal of spring flushes and flowers, or 3) removal of flushes and flowers alone. However, during the less-responsive period, ethylene production in CMN-Pyrazole-treated mature oranges was significantly lower while the FDF was higher from non-manipulated trees than from trees treated by either girdling and removal of flush, or only removal of flush. There was no difference in either ethylene production or FDF of CMN-Pyrazole-treated mature oranges between trees manipulated by girdling and removal of flush, and those by removal of flush alone. Flush growth terminated at least 2 weeks before the onset of the less responsive period. This suggests that the hormones from rapidly growing young fruit may be responsible for the less responsive period.
Luis Pozo, Ana Redondo, Ulrich Hartmond, Walter J. Kender and Jacqueline K. Burns
Two formulations of the plant growth regulator dikegulac (2,3:4,6-di-O-isopro-pylidene-α-L-xylo-2-hexulofuranosoic acid), consisting of dikegulac-sodium (Atrimmec) or dikegulac:ascorbic acid (1:1) (DAA), as well as 5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-pyrazole at 200 mg·L-1, were applied as foliar sprays to `Hamlin' and `Valencia' orange trees (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck) at two dates during the harvest season for each cultivar (11 Nov. and 10 Jan. for `Hamlin', 22 Mar. and 25 May for `Valencia'). Fruit detachment force was evaluated 10 days after application, whereas cumulative leaf abscission was monitored up to 60 days after application. In both cultivars, Atrimmec and DAA at 3,000 mg·L-1 induced moderate fruit loosening when applied at the earlier application date, but fruit loosening improved when applied at the later application date. In `Hamlin', both formulations caused higher leaf abscission when applied at the later date. DAA applications resulted in low leaf loss in `Valencia' regardless of application time, whereas Atrimmec caused unacceptably high leaf loss at either application date. No differences in internal fruit quality were found as a result of any abscission material treatment. The results indicate that DAA could be a promising option to induce fruit loosening in late harvested `Valencia' orange trees with minimal undesirable side effects.
Rongcai Yuan, Ulrich Hartmond and Walter J. Kender
Effects of NAA, TIBA, ethephon, and CMN-Pyrazole on fruit detachment force (FDF) of mature `Valencia' and `Hamlin' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] fruit were examined in 2000 and 2001. NAA effectively inhibited the reduction in FDF or fruit abscission caused by ethephon when applied to the abscission zone 24 hours before ethephon application, but had no significant effect when applied to the fruit without contacting the abscission zone, or to the peduncle ≈4 cm above the abscission zone. TIBA, an auxin transport inhibitor, decreased FDF of mature fruit and promoted fruit abscission when applied alone as a spray to the canopy or directly to the fruit peduncle. This response was dependent on TIBA concentration. TIBA was more effective when applied in combination with ethephon or CMN-Pyrazole than alone. These results are consistent with our previous data that endogenous auxin concentration in the abscission zone of mature `Valencia' orange fruit is one of the factors controlling the sensitivity and thus the responsiveness of the abscission zone of mature fruit to abscission chemicals. Chemical names used: 5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-pyrazole (CMN-Pyrazole); 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon); naphthalene acetic acid (NAA); 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid (TIBA).
Rongcai Yuan, Ulrich Hartmond and Walter J. Kender
Endogenous concentrations of IAA and ABA in the peel, pulp, seed, and abscission zone of mature `Valencia' oranges [Citrus sinesis (L.) Osbeck] were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay from early November 1998 to mid-June 1999. Ethylene production of mature `Valencia' oranges during the same period was determined by gas chromatography. IAA concentrations in the pulp and seed were three to five times lower than those in the peel over the 7-month observation period. IAA concentration in the abscission zone and peel was high from late April to mid-May, the period of less responsiveness to abscission chemicals. ABA concentration in the pulp was low over the entire observation period. ABA concentration in the abscission zone and peel was low during the less responsive period. Ethylene production was always low except for a slight increase during late December and early February. The IAA to ABA ratio was high in the fruit abscission zone during the less responsive period. Fruit detachment force of CMN-pyrazole-treated fruit was positively correlated with the ratio of endogenous IAA to ABA or endogenous IAA, but negatively to endogenous ABA in the fruit abscission zone. These data suggest the balance between IAA and ABA in the fruit abscission zone may be an important factor in determining sensitivity and thereby the response of mature `Valencia' orange fruit to abscission chemicals. Chemical names used: abscisic acid (ABA); indole-3-acetic acid (IAA); 5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-1H-pyrazole (CMN-pyrazole).
Jacqueline K. Burns, Luis V. Pozo, Covadonga R. Arias, Brandon Hockema, Vidhya Rangaswamy and Carol L. Bender
Coronatine is a polyketide phytotoxin produced by several plant pathogenic Pseudomonas spp. The effect of coronatine on abscission in Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck `Hamlin' and `Valencia' orange fruit, leaves, fruitlets, and flowers was determined. Coronatine at 200 mg·L-1 significantly reduced fruit detachment force of mature fruit, and did not cause fruitlet or flower loss in `Valencia'. Cumulative leaf loss was 18% with coronatine treatment. Coronafacic acid or coronamic acid, precursors to coronatine in Pseudomonas syringae, did not cause mature fruit abscission. Ethylene production in mature fruit and leaves was stimulated by coronatine treatment, and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase (ACO) and 12-oxo-phytodienoate reductase (12-oxo-PDAR) gene expression was upregulated. A slight chlorosis developed in the canopy of whole trees sprayed with coronatine, and chlorophyll content was reduced relative to adjuvant-treated controls. Leaves formed after coronatine application were not chlorotic and had chlorophyll contents similar to controls. Comparison of coronatine to the abscission compounds methyl jasmonate, 5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-pyrazole and ethephon indicated differences in ethylene production and ACO and 12-oxo-PDAR gene expression between treatments. Leaf loss, chlorophyll reduction and low coronatine yield during fermentation must be overcome for coronatine to be seriously considered as an abscission material for citrus.
Ridwan Setiamihardja and Dean E. Knavei
Genetic correlations for pedicel length and diameter, fruit length and diameter, and fruit detachment force (FDF) were determined in three pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) families from crosses of `Serrano Chili' (low FDF) with three cultivars (`Anaheim Chili', `Keystone Resistant Giant', and `Red Cherry Small') characterized by high FDF and different fruit characteristics. Pedicel and fruit length means of F1 generations were nearly intermediate, while pedicel and fruit diameter means were shifted toward `Serrano Chili'. Progeny distributions in F2 generations were continuous and F2 means slightly less than the F1 means. Generation mean analyses indicated gene effects for pedicel and fruit length to be mostly additive. Gene effects for pedicel and fruit diameter were also mostly additive. Pedicel length was positively correlated genetically with fruit length, and pedicel diameter was positively correlated with fruit diameter. FDF means were positively correlated with pedicel and fruit length and diameter in most segregating generations. In BCP2 (`Serrano Chili' × `Red Cherry Small'), FDF was negatively correlated with pedicel and fruit length. Pendant fruit in BCP2 (`Serrano Chili' × `Red Cherry Small') were longer and narrower than upright fruit and FDF decreased with increased length of both pedicel and fruit.
Luis Pozo, Rongcai Yuan, Igor Kostenyuk, Fernando Alférez, Guang Yan Zhong and Jacqueline K. Burns
1-MCP is a gaseous ethylene binding inhibitor that controls or delays ethylene-related postharvest problems in a range of horticultural commodities. Our previous work demonstrated that exposure of calamondin to 1-MCP 16 hours before canopy sprays of ethephon greatly reduced unwanted leaf drop while only partially inhibiting the ability of ethephon to cause fruit loosening. The objective of this work was to determine whether formulated 1-MCP (SmartFresh) could be used in the field to stop defoliation caused by abscission agent applications without significantly altering abscission agent-induced fruit loosening. Spray solutions containing 400 mg·L-1 ethephon with 0, 1, 2.5, and 5 mm 1-MCP were applied to canopies of `Hamlin' and `Valencia' (Citrus sinensis). Timing of 1-MCP applications was a) 24 hours before, b) in combination with, or c) 24 hours after ethephon. Ethephon at 400 mg·L-1 significantly reduced fruit detachment force (FDF) but caused >70% leaf drop within 15 days after application in both cultivars. Applications of 1-MCP reduced ethephon-associated leaf abscission but had little effect on the ability of ethephon to reduce FDF. Timing of 1-MCP applications did not affect the ability of ethephon to cause fruit loosening; however, the best consistent treatment for control of leaf drop was achieved with the combined application of 5 mm 1-MCP and 400 mg·L-1 ethephon. 1-MCP was used in combination with the abscission agents coronatine, methyl jasmonate (MeJa) and 5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-1H-pyrazole (CMNP) to determine its effect on leaf drop and fruit loosening. Leaf drop in trees treated with ethephon, coronatine, and MeJa was reduced by addition of 1-MCP. However, fruit loosening was largely prevented when 1-MCP was used in combination with coronatine or MeJa. Like ethephon, CMNP-induced fruit loosening was not affected by 1-MCP. The results demonstrate the ability to control ethephon-induced leaf abscission without affecting mature fruit loosening by targeting ethylene binding in citrus.
Rongcai Yuan, Ulrich Hartmond, Angela Grant and Walter J. Kender
Influence of young fruit, shoot, and root growth on response of mature `Valencia' oranges [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] to the abscission chemical CMN-pyrazole was examined in 1999 and 2000. CMN-pyrazole dramatically increased ethylene production in mature fruit and reduced the fruit detachment force (FDF), except during a period of reduced response to CMN-pyrazole in early May when spring vegetative growth, young fruit of the following year's crop, and mature fruit were all on the trees. Removal of spring flushes, which included spring vegetative shoots and leafy and leafless inflorescences, prevented any young fruit and shoot growth, but did not inhibit root growth. However, trunk girdling in combination with removal of spring flushes not only prevented growth of young fruit and shoots but also inhibited root growth. During the responsive period, there were no differences in either ethylene production or FDF of CMN-pyrazole-treated mature oranges between 1) the nonmanipulated trees and those manipulated by either 2) removal of spring flushes alone, or 3) in combination with trunk girdling. However, during the less responsive period, ethylene production in CMN-pyrazole-treated mature oranges was significantly lower while the FDF was higher in nonmanipulated trees than in trees treated by either removal of spring flushes alone, or in combination with trunk girdling. There was no difference in either fruit ethylene production or FDF between trees manipulated by (2) removal of spring flushes alone, and (3) removal of spring flushes in combination with trunk girdling regardless of CMN-pyrazole application. Shoot growth terminated at least 2 weeks before the onset of the less responsive period. Removal of young fruit increased response of mature fruit to CMN-pyrazole during the less responsive period. This suggests that hormones from rapidly growing young fruit may be responsible for the occurrence of the less responsive period. Chemical name used: 5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-1H-pyrazole (CMN-pyrazole).