Particle film technology is a new tool for tree fruit production systems. Trials were performed in Santiago, Chile, and Washington and West Virginia to evaluate the effect of particle film treatments on apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill var domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] fruit temperature and the incidence of solar injury. Fruit surface temperature was reduced by the application of reflective particles and the amount of temperature reduction was proportional to the amount of particle residue on the fruit surface. Effective solar injury suppression was achieved with spray applications of 45 to 56 kg·ha-1 of a reflective, processed-kaolin particle film material in concentrations ranging from 3% to 12% in some of the locations. The timing of application to suppress solar injury was not clearly defined. The processed-kaolin particle film material was highly reflective to the ultraviolet wavelengths and this characteristic may be important in reducing solar injury to both fruit and leaves.
Western immunoblot analyses showed that small heat shock proteins (smHSPs) are low or undetectable in the peel of `Fuji', `Jonagold', `Criterion', `Gala', and `Delicious' apples [(Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] growing shaded within the tree canopy (shade apples), but are high in apples growing exposed to direct sunlight (sun apples). `Fuji', `Jonagold', and `Gala' sun apples sampled biweekly between 1 July and 21 Oct. 1997 were highest in content of smHSPs on 31 July, 13 Aug., and 10 Sept., corresponding to some of the warmest periods of the sampling period. The smHSPs started to disappear first in `Gala', the earliest maturing cultivar, and last in `Fuji', the latest maturing cultivar indicating that maturity might play a role in regulating smHSP accumulation. In sun apple fruit left on trees for 60 to 120 days beyond commercial maturity and exposed to field temperatures as low as -4 °C, a 71.7 ku (u = unified atomic mass unit) polypeptide was detected with a polyclonal antiwheat (Triticum aestivum L.) HSP70 in the peel and cortex of all five cultivars. While no smHSPs were detected in these apples, three smHSPs, as detected by antibodies against pea (Pisum sativum L.) cytosolic HSP18.1, could be induced in the same fruit 24 hours after heating to 45 °C for 4 hours. In `Fuji' shade apples heated at 40 °C, smHSP accumulation was detected after the second hour of a 4-hour heat treatment and continued to increase over the next 48 hours at 22 °C. Levels of HSP70 did not change in `Fuji' shade apples heated at 45 °C for 2, 4, or 6 hours, but smHSPs became detectable immediately after each of these heat treatments and further increased over the next 24 hours at 22 °C. Accumulation of smHSPs was maximal in the 4-hour heat treatment. After a 4-hour heat treatment at 45 °C, smHSPs increased during the next 48 hours at 22 °C and then declined by 72 hours. Using two-dimensional electrophoretic analysis, as many as 17 proteins ranging from 15 to 29 ku were found to accumulate in the peel 48 hours after a 4-hour heat treatment. Thus, apples can respond rapidly to high temperature stress, even at advanced stages of maturity, by synthesizing smHSPs, which likely play an important role in protecting cellular biochemical processes during these periods of stress.
An ethylene action inhibitor, MCP, was applied to preclimacteric and climacteric apple [Malus sylvestris L. (Mill.) var. domestica Borkh. Mansf.] fruit. Experiments were conducted in North Carolina and Washington State utilizing the following cultivars: Fuji, Gala, Ginger Gold, Jonagold, and Delicious. MCP inhibited loss of fruit firmness and titratable acidity when fruit were held in storage at 0 °C up to 6 months and when fruit were held at 20 to 24 °C for up to 60 days. For all cultivars except `Fuji', differences in firmness between treated and nontreated fruit exceeded 10 N after 6 months storage. These beneficial effects were seen in both preclimacteric and climacteric fruit. Ethylene production and respiration were reduced substantially by MCP treatment. MCP-treated fruit had soluble solids equal to or greater than those in nontreated fruit. Storage and shelf life were extended for all cultivars tested. Chemical name used: 1-methylcyclopropene (MCP).
Photosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism in apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] source leaves were monitored during a 7-day period after source-sink manipulations by girdling or partial defoliation treatments. In the girdling treatment, sorbitol, sucrose, glucose, and starch accumulated in leaves, and net photosynthetic rates (Pn) at 350 μL·L-1 CO2 decreased during a 7-day period. Pn measured at 1000 μL·L-1 [CO2] was also decreased but the changes were less. Stomatal conductance and intracellular CO2 concentration decreased markedly in leaves of girdled shoots. When shoots were partially defoliated, starch and glucose concentrations in remaining source leaves declined steadily during the 7-day study period. Sorbitol and sucrose concentrations decreased during the first 2 days after defoliation, then increased the following 5 days. Pn of the remaining leaves measured at ambient and elevated CO2 levels were enhanced markedly. Aldose-6-phosphate reductase activity in source leaves increased markedly from 27.5 to 39.2 μmol·h-1·g-1 fresh weight (FW) after partial defoliation but remained unchanged in leaves after girdling. Selective and maximum sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) activities increased following partial defoliation and decreased following girdling. ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase activity remained relatively unchanged in the partial defoliation treatments but increased markedly in the girdled-shoot leaves. These results suggested that girdling-induced photosynthetic inhibition is mainly due to stomatal limitation, however, the photosynthesis enhancement by partial defoliation may be due primarily to acceleration of photosynthetic capacity per se. These studies showed that the metabolism of sorbitol, sucrose and starch, three photosynthetic end products in mature apple leaves, was coordinately regulated in source leaves in response to source-sink manipulations.
Unlike cold-hardy apple germplasm, dormant vegetative buds from cold-tender accessions require stabilization of meristematic tissue to protect against injury during desiccation and cryopreservation. Dormant buds of six apple cultivars [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf. `Cox's Orange Pippin', `Einshemer', `Golden Delicious', `Jonagold', `K-14', and `Mutsu'] collected at specific intervals in 1993, 1994, and 1995 at Geneva, N.Y., were stabilized by encapsulation in 5% alginate, treated with step-wise imbibition of 0.5 to 1.0 m sucrose and 0.2 m raffinose solution, and desiccated with forced air at 0 °C. Sugar-alginate stabilization reduced injury during desiccation, increased cold-hardiness of the six cold-tender cultivars frozen to -30 °C, and improved recovery following cryopreservation of buds collected before optimal cold acclimation was attained. Sucrose tissue levels did not increase following stabilization treatment, but levels of glucose and fructose, and of an unknown disaccharide increased. This procedure used nontoxic cryoprotectants, and has potential to expand the scope of dormant bud cryopreservation to include cold-tender apple germplasm.
Fruit of `Redchief Delicious' apple [Malus sylvestris (L) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] were harvested 1 week before the climacteric (harvest 1), at the onset of the climacteric (harvest 2), and 1 week after the onset of the climacteric (harvest 3). Fruit were stored at 0, 5, 10, 15, or 20 °C and were treated with 0.7 μL·L-1 1-MCP on a once-per-week, once-per-2-week, once-per-month, and once-per-year basis or were left nontreated. The initial 1-MCP treatment was at 20 °C and subsequent applications were at storage temperatures. The compound slowed softening at all temperatures relative to nontreated fruit, however as temperature decreased, the benefits of 1-MCP application became less pronounced. Effectiveness of 1-MCP declined slightly as harvest maturity increased. Efficacy of 1-MCP treatment increased with greater frequency of application at 5, 10, 15, and 20 °C, but not at 0 °C. Fruit stored without refrigeration (20 °C) for more than 100 days did not soften significantly when treated once per week with 1-MCP. However, decay was a significant problem for treated and nontreated fruit stored at temperatures >5 °C; 1-MCP application reduced, but did not prevent decay. Rate of decline in titratable acidity increased with storage temperature and 1-MCP had no significant effect on retarding the decline in acid content. Minimal (Fo) and maximal (Fm) chlorophyll fluorescence was altered markedly by 1-MCP application, but the ratio of (Fm-Fo)/Fm was only slightly affected. The most effective 1-MCP treatment frequency was once per week and, at all elevated temperatures (5, 10, 15, and 20 °C), slowed loss of firmness to a greater extent than refrigeration (0 °C) alone. Application of 1-MCP resulted in greater retention of firmness than controlled atmosphere (CA) with O2 and CO2 at 1.5 kPa and 3 kPa, respectively. Data suggest that 1-MCP application, has the potential to reduce reliance on refrigeration and CA storage for maintaining firmness of `Redchief Delicious' apple, especially for relatively short storage durations (<50 days) when fruit are harvested within a week of the ethylene climacteric. Chemical name used: 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP).
Effects of α-farnesene biosynthesis precursors on α-farnesene and ethylene production were studied using Lovastatin-treated or nontreated `Delicious' and `Granny Smith' apples [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.]. In nontreated fruit, α-farnesene was detected only in fruit peel (≈3 mm) and not in the more proximal cortical tissue. α-Farnesene was not detectable in preclimacteric fruit peel at harvest. Mevalonic acid lactone (MAL) or farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) induced α-farnesene production when fed to preclimacteric peel tissue, but hydroxymethylglutaric acid (HMG) did not. Fruit stored at 0 °C for 30 days (climacteric fruit) produced α-farnesene, and addition of HMG, MAL, or FPP further increased α-farnesene production. When treated at harvest with Lovastatin at 1.25 mmol·L-1 and stored at 0 °C for 30 days, fruit produced ethylene but did not produce α-farnesene. Whereas MAL and FPP induced α-farnesene production in peel sections from these fruit, HMG did not. Induction of α-farnesene by precursor feeding was concentration-dependent and had no effect on ethylene production. Cortical tissue sections from climacteric fruit did not produce α-farnesene unless HMG, MAL, or FPP were fed during incubation. Including Lovastatin at 0.63 mmol·L-1 in the feeding solution eliminated HMG induced α-farnesene production, but did not affect MAL or FPP-induced α-farnesene production. Neither precursor feeding nor Lovastatin treatment affected ethylene production in cortical tissues. Chemical name used: [1S-[1a (R°), 3α, 7β, 8β (2S°, 4S°), 8αβ]]-1,2,3,7,8,8α-hexahydro-3,7-dimethyl-8-[2-(tetrahydro-4-hydroxy-6-oxo-2H-pyran-2-yl)ethyl]-1-naphthalnyl 2-methylbutanoate (Lovastatin).
Container-grown `Delicious', `Golden Delicious', `Braeburn', `Fuji' and `Royal Gala' apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] trees, on Malling 9 (M.9) rootstock, were subjected to a range of different maximum/minimum air temperature regimes for up to 80 days after full bloom (DAFB) in controlled environments to investigate the effects of temperature on fruit expansion, final fruit weight, and fruit maturation. Fruit expansion rates were highly responsive to temperature with those at a mean of 20 °C being ≈10 times greater than those at a mean of 6 °C. All cultivars exhibited the same general response although `Braeburn' consistently showed higher expansion rates at all temperatures compared with lowest rates for `Golden Delicious' and intermediate rates for both `Delicious' and `Fuji'. The duration of cell division, assessed indirectly by measuring expansion rate, appeared to be inversely related to mean temperature (i.e., prolonged under cooler conditions). Subsequently, fruit on trees from the coolest controlled temperature treatment showed greater expansion rates when transferred to the field and smaller differences in fruit size at harvest than would have been expected from the measured expansion rates under the cool treatment. Nonetheless, mean fruit weight from warm postbloom treatments was up to four times greater at harvest maturity than that from cool temperature treatments. Postbloom temperature also markedly affected fruit maturation. Fruit from warm postbloom temperature conditions had a higher soluble solids concentration, more yellow background color, lower flesh firmness, and greater starch hydrolysis than fruit from cooler temperatures.
`Granny Smith' apples [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] were harvested in two seasons and stored at 0 °C air storage with no pretreatment (control), after heating for 4 d at 38 °C, or after treating for 16 hours at 20 °C with 1 μL·L-1 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP). The effects of the two treatments on superficial scald development were consistent over both seasons. Scald began to appear after 8 weeks in control fruit, after 16 weeks in heated fruit but not on 1-MCP treated fruit. α-Farnesene accumulation and oxidation were slower in the skin of heated than in control fruit, and almost entirely absent in 1-MCP treated fruit. The activities of five antioxidant enzymes, ascorbate peroxidase, catalase, glutathione reductase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutate, were measured at two-week intervals in the apple peel, quantitatively as total activity and qualitatively by isozyme analysis. Enzyme activities either increased or remained stable during 16 weeks of storage, except for superoxide dismutase activity, which decreased. Ascorbate oxidase activity was higher in heated than control apples and there was an additional peroxidase isozyme present in activity gels. The activities of antioxidant enzymes were lower in 1-MCP treated fruit except for catalase during the first month of storage. Lipid soluble antioxidant activity was higher in 1-MCP treated fruit than the fruit of the other treatments, and water soluble antioxidant activity was higher in both treatments than in control fruit during the time that scald was developing in control apples. Both free and total phenol contents in the peel fluctuated during storage but no consistent trend was detected. The differences in enzyme activity and antioxidant content of the peel of 1-MCP and heated apples may play a role in preventing or delaying the appearance of superficial scald.
A new chlorophyll fluorescence (F) sensor system called FIRM (fluorescence interactive response monitor) was developed that measures F at low irradiance. This system can produce a theoretical estimate of Fo at zero irradiance for which we have coined a new fluorescence term, Fα. The ability of Fα to detect fruit and vegetable low-O2 stress was tested in short-term (4-day) studies on chlorophyll-containing fruit [apple (Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.), pear (Pyrus communis L.), banana (Musa ×paradisiaca L.), kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa C.S. Liang & A.R. Ferguson), mango (Mangifera indica L.), and avocado (Persea americana Mill.)] and vegetables (cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata Group), green pepper (Capsicum annuum L. Grossum Group), iceberg and romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.)). In all of these fruit and vegetables, Fα was able to indicate the presence of low-O2 stress. As the O2 concentration dropped below threshold values of 0 to 1.4 kPa, depending on the product, the Fα value immediately and dramatically increased. At the end of the short-term study, O2 was increased above the threshold level, whereupon Fα returned to approximately prestressed values. A 9-month study was undertaken with `Summerland McIntosh' apple fruit to determine if storing the fruit at 0.9 kPa O2, the estimated low O2 threshold value determined from Fα, would benefit or damage fruit quality, compared with threshold + 0.3 kPa (1.2 kPa O2) and the lowest recommended CA (1.5 kPa O2). After 9 months, the threshold treatment (0.9 kPa) had the highest firmness, lowest concentration of fermentation volatiles (ethanol, acetaldehyde, ethyl acetate) and lowest total disorders. Sensory rating for off-flavor, flavor and preference indicated no discernible differences among the three treatments.