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Jeffrey Anderson, Greg McCollum and Warren Roberts

Electrolyte leakage was used to quantify heat stress injury in `Early Calwonder' pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) leaf disks. Lethal temperatures were estimated from the midpoint of the sigmoidal response curve. An interaction between exposure temperature and duration was observed, with lethal temperatures decreasing linearly from 53 to 46C as exposure duration increased exponentially from 5 to 240 min. Exposure to two 7.5-min periods at 51.5C, interrupted by 4 hours at 21C, resulted in the same injury as a continuous 15-min exposure to 51.5C. Plants grown at 22/20C day/night cycles and held 24 hours at 38/30C had increased their heat tolerance by 3C, 51 to 54C; these plants reacclimated to 52C 48 hours after having been transferred back to 22/20C. Leaf disks acclimated significantly in vitro in 1 hour and were fully acclimated by 4 hours at 38C.

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Zhaolong Wang, Bingru Huang and Qingzhang Xu

Abscisic acid (ABA) is an important hormone regulating plant response to drought stress. The objective of this study was to investigate effects of exogenous ABA application on turf performance and physiological activities of kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) in response to drought stress. Plants of two kentucky bluegrass cultivars, `Brilliant' (drought susceptible) and `Midnight' (drought tolerant), were treated with ABA (100 μm) or water by foliar application and then grown under drought stress (no irrigation) or well-watered (irrigation on alternate days) conditions in a growth chamber. The two cultivars responded similarly to ABA application under both watering regimes. Foliar application of ABA had no effects on turf quality or physiological parameters under well-watered conditions. ABA application, however, helped maintain higher turf quality and delayed the quality decline during drought stress, compared to the untreated control. ABA-treated plants exposed to drought stress had higher cell membrane stability, as indicated by less electrolyte leakage of leaves, and higher photochemical efficiency, expressed as Fv/Fm, compared to untreated plants. Leaf water potential was not significantly affected, whereas leaf turgor pressure increased with ABA application after 9 and 12 d of drought. Osmotic adjustment increased with ABA application, and was sustained for a longer period of drought in `Midnight' than in `Brilliant'. The results suggested that exogenous ABA application improved turf performance during drought in both drought-sensitive and tolerant cultivars of kentucky bluegrass. This positive effect of ABA could be related to increased osmotic adjustment, cell turgor maintenance, and reduced damage to cell membranes and the photosynthetic system.

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D.E. Webster and J.S. Ebdon

Turf loss from freezing injury results in costly re-establishment, especially with turfgrasses such as perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) having poor low-temperature hardiness. Studies are limited as to the influence of N and K on cold tolerance during dehardening periods in late winter when grasses are most susceptible to freezing injury. The objective of this study was to evaluate perennial ryegrass low temperature hardiness during deacclimation in response to N and K and associated effects on crown hydration, median killing temperature (LT50), shoot growth rate, tissue K concentration, soil exchangeable K, and low temperature disease. Treatments included five rate levels of N (49, 147, 245, 343, and 441 kg·ha-1·yr-1) in all factorial combinations with 3 rate levels of K (49, 245, and 441 kg·ha-1·yr-1). Low temperature tolerance was assessed using whole plant survival and electrolyte leakage (EL). Interactions between N and K were detected for all field measurements. The effects of N and K on survival LT50 were detected only during late winter periods in February 2004, N and K differences were lost by March. Late winter cold survival was negatively correlated with crown moisture, growth rate, and tissue K. Tissue K concentrations ranged from 28.6 to 35.9 g·kg–1 DM while soil K ranged from 121 to 261 mg·kg–1. Soil extractable K was not correlated with tissue K. Survival and EL LT50 were uncorrelated due to N and K interaction. Survival LT50 ranged from –9.0 to –13.6 °C. Maximum cold hardiness occurred when low to moderate N (49 to 147 kg·ha-1·yr-1) was applied with medium-high to high levels of K (245 to 441 kg·ha-1·yr-1), which corresponded to soil exchangeable K levels ranging from 200 to 260 mg·kg–1. Alternatively, similar K fertilization and soil K levels combined with high rates of N (343 and 441 kg·ha-1·yr-1) increased freeze stress and low temperature fungi (Typhula incarnata). At N rates routinely applied to perennial ryegrass, higher soil extractable K beyond those levels currently recommended for optimum shoot growth could provide some benefit in enhancing cold hardiness. Late fall applied N did not appear to increase the potential for winter injury.

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Agnes A. Flores-Nimedez, Paul H. Li and Charles C. Shin

GLK-8903, an experimental product whose main ingredient is produced by hydrogenation of a primary alcohol extracted from plants, showed significant potential in protecting bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) plants from chilling injury. The GLK-8903 protection mechanism was assessed by examining several physiological and biochemical responses. The decline in leaf water potential and the increase in osmotic potential caused by chilling exposure to 4C (day/night) were minimized by the application of GLK-8903. Chilling causes an increase in electrolyte leakage, an indication of chilling injury of the plasma membrane. Increased electrolyte leakage was reduced significantly in the GLK-8903-treated plants during chilling. This minimized leakage may be due to less damage of the plasma membrane. Plasmolysis and deplasmolysis studies of the epidermal cells suggest that GLK-8903 is able to reduce the plasma membrane perturbation in the chilling environment, as evident by: 1) the lower permeability coefficient to urea at 4C, and 2) the swelling of protoplasts in the cells of untreated tissues after chilling exposure with no swelling of the protoplast being observed in the GLK-8903-treated cells. Malondialdehyde (MDA), a product of lipid peroxidation, increased more in untreated controls than in treated plants exposed to 4C. Plasma membrane ATPase activity decreased less in GLK-8903-treated plants than in untreated controls after 3 days at 4C. The mechanism of GLK-8903-alleviated chilling injury is discussed.

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T.G. McCollum

The effects of gene B on susceptibility to chilling injury (CI) in two types of summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) were investigated. Two pairs of near-isogenic lines with (BB) and without (B+ B+) gene B were included in the study: `Caserta' (B+ B+) and `Precocious Caserta' (BB) of the vegetable marrow type, and `Benning's Green Tint' (B+ B+) and `Benning's Yellow Tint' (BB) of the scallop type. Respiration and ethylene evolution at nonchilling temperature were consistently higher in marrows than in scallops. Gene B had no influence on respiratory rates at nonchilling temperatures; however, the presence of gene B enhanced the chilling-induced stimulation of respiration in both marrows and scallops. Temporal differences in the patterns of chilling-induced stimulation of ethylene evolution indicated a greater sensitivity to chilling in marrows than in scallops and in both types in the presence of gene B. Electrolyte leakage was decreased by storage at chilling temperature in both marrow genotypes and was not influenced by storage temperature in B+ B+ scallops, but was increased by storage at chilling temperature in BB scallops. Therefore, electrolyte leakage was not a good CI index for these summer squash.

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Yaguang Luo, James L. McEvoy, Marian R. Wachtel, Ji Gang Kim and Yun Huang

Experiments were conducted to develop a modified atmosphere packaging system for fresh-cut cilantro (Coriandrum sativum L.) leaves, and to determine the effect of package film oxygen transmission rate (OTR) on package atmosphere and the consequence on quality and microbiology of the product. Package film OTR significantly (P < 0.001) influenced the package atmospheres and the resultant postharvest physiology and quality of fresh-cut cilantro leaves under the tested package configuration (bag size 19 × 22 cm, product fill weight 85 g/bag) and storage condition (0 °C). Oxygen and carbon dioxide levels of the packages prepared with 3500 mL·d-1·m-2 OTR films equilibrated at 1.5 to 2.3 kPa and 3.6 to 4.1 kPa, respectively, on day 3 and maintained this level throughout the storage. The gas compositions of the packages with 6200 mL·d-1·m-2 OTR films showed a similar trend, except they equilibrated at a higher O2 (3.6 to 5.6 kPa) and lower CO2 (2.7 to 3.3 kPa) level. Fresh-cut cilantro leaves in both packages exhibited the highest tissue integrity as evidenced by the lowest tissue electrolyte leakage, with high overall visual quality scores (like moderately to like very much) at the end of 14 days storage. However, atmospheres in 1700 mL·d-1·m-2 OTR film packages displayed a rapid depletion of O2 and accumulation of CO2, with essentially no O2 (≈0.02 kPa) and high CO2 (7.7 to 9.0 kPa) levels inside the packages from day 6 until the end of storage. A rapid increase in tissue electrolyte leakage was observed in cilantro leaves in these packages starting on day 6, increasing 6-fold at the end of the storage period. Products in these packages developed a strong off-odor, accompanied by a rapid loss of typical aroma and overall visual quality, with an unacceptable quality rating at the end of storage (dislike slightly). Samples packaged in perforated bags (without modified atmosphere) lost moisture over time, and small numbers of wilted leaves were seen. There was a slow but significant (P < 0.001) increase in aerobic organisms over time with no significant (P > 0.05) difference among treatments. There was an increase in anaerobic microorganisms on cilantro leaves packaged in 1700 mL·d-1·m-2 OTR film, although only ≈0.5 log cfu/g difference was observed among the treatments and over time.

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Yaguang Luo

., Ringsted, Denmark). All quality evaluations were performed in a temperature-controlled room at 5 °C to minimize the effect of temperature variation during testing. Tissue electrolyte leakage was determined by immersing 50-g samples of fresh-cut Romaine

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Chiam L. Liew and Robert K. Prange

Effects of ozone and storage temperature on carrots and two postharvest pathogens—Botrytis cinerea Pers. and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum de Bary—were investigated. Pathogen-inoculated and uninoculated whole carrots were exposed to an ozone concentration of 0 (control), 7.5, 15, 30, or 60 μl·liter-1. Treatment chambers were flushed with a total flow rate of 0.5 liters·min-1 (air and ozone) for 8 h daily for 28 days. The experiment was repeated twice at storage temperatures of 2, 8, and 16C. The residual ozone concentration (ozone supplied-exhausted and reacted ozone) increased with ozone supply concentration but was less at higher storage temperatures. A 50% reduction of daily growth rates of both fungi at the highest ozone concentration indicated that ozone was fungistatic. Carrot respiration rate, electrolyte leakage, and total color differences increased with ozone concentration. Ozone-treated carrots were lighter (higher L* values) and less intense (lower chroma values) in color than control carrots.

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Muharrem Ergun, Donald J. Huber, Jiwon Jeong and Jerry A. Bartz

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of ethylene action, via use of the ethylene antagonist 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), on the senescence and quality of fresh-cut ripe papaya (Carica papaya L. `Sunrise Solo') fruit. Ripe papaya fruit were treated with 2.5 μL·L-1 1-MCP and immediately processed into fresh-cut slices or left intact. At 2-day intervals over 10 days at 5 °C, continuously stored slices were monitored for ethylene production, firmness, electrolyte leakage, color, sensory changes, and pathogen incidence. Slices freshly prepared from intact fruit stored under identical conditions were measured similarly. Ethylene production did not differ significantly between the treatments, although production rates were slightly but consistently higher in slices from intact control compared with intact 1-MCP-treated fruit. Mesocarp firmness of continuously stored slices and slices from fruit stored intact was significantly retained by 1-MCP. Firmness of continuously stored slices from 1-MCP-treated fruit declined 50% compared with 75% for control slices. Firmness of fresh-cut slices prepared from intact control and 1-MCP-treated fruit at each sampling interval declined 26% and 15%, respectively. Electrolyte leakage remained low and changed little in slices freshly prepared from fruit stored intact. Leakage from continuously stored papaya slices increased after 4 days, and after 6 days controls increased significantly compared with stored slices derived from papaya fruit initially treated with the ethylene antagonist. The flesh color of continuously stored slices or slices prepared from fruit stored intact was influenced by 1-MCP only during the later periods of storage. Microbial counts in stored slices or slices prepared at each sampling were generally unaffected by 1-MCP. Informal sensory analysis indicated that the edible shelf life was 6 days in stored slices from 1-MCP-treated fruit compared with 2 to 3 days for stored slices from control fruit.

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Zhaolong Wang, Bingru Huang, Stacy A. Bonos and William A. Meyer

Drought is a major factor limiting plant growth, which has been associated with the accumulation of absicsic acid (ABA) in various species. The objective of the study was to determine the relationship between ABA accumulation and drought tolerance for kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) during short-term drought stress. Eight kentucky bluegrass cultivars (`Midnight', `A82-204', `RSP', `Alpine', `Moonlight', `Brilliant', `Washington', and `Baruzo') were subjected to drought stress in a growth chamber. Water relations, gas exchange rate, and ABA content of leaves were determined at various times during drought stress. Turf quality decreased with drought duration for all eight cultivars. Leaf ABA content increased linearly with drought stress within 11 days of treatment; the rate of the increase was negatively related to the rate of turf quality decline. The rate of ABA accumulation during drought stress was positively correlated with the rates of decrease in turf quality (r 2 = 0.6346), increase in electrolyte leakage (r 2 = 0.7128), and decrease in relative water content (r 2 = 0.5913). There were highly significant negative correlations between ABA content and leaf water potential (r 2 = 0.9074), stomatal conductance (r 2 = 0.6088), transpiration rate (r 2 = 0.6581), net photosynthesis rate (r 2 = 0.6956), and a positive correlation between ABA content and electrolyte leakage (r 2 = 0.7287). The results indicate that drought tolerance is negatively related to ABA accumulation during shortterm drought stress. ABA accumulation in response to drought stress could be used as a metabolic factor to select for drought tolerance in kentucky bluegrass.