Seeds developing within a locular space inside hollow fruit experience chronic exposure to a unique gaseous environment. Using two pepper cultivars, `Triton' (sweet) and `PI 140367' (hot), we investigated how the development of seeds is affected by the gases surrounding them. The atmospheric composition of the seed environment was characterized during development by analysis of samples withdrawn from the fruit locule with a gas-tight syringe. As seed weight plateaued during development, the seed environment reached its lowest O2 concentration (19%) and highest CO2 concentration (3%). We experimentally manipulated the seed environment by passing different humidified gas mixtures through the fruit locule at a rate of 60 to 90 mL·min-1. A synthetic atmosphere containing 3% CO2, 21% O2, and 76% N2 was used to represent a standard seed environment. Seeds developing inside locules supplied with this mixture had enhanced average seed weight, characterized by lower variation than in the no-flow controls due to fewer low-weight seeds. The importance of O2 in the seed microenvironment was demonstrated by reduction in seed weight when the synthetic atmosphere contained only 15% O2 and by complete arrest of embryo development when O2 was omitted from the seed atmosphere. Removal of CO2 from the synthetic atmosphere had no effect on seed weight, however, the CO2-free treatment accelerated fruit ripening by 4 days in the hot pepper. In the sweet peppers, fruit wall starch and sucrose were reduced by the CO2-free treatment. The results demonstrate that accretionary seed growth is being limited in pepper by O2 availability and suggest that variation in seed quality is attributable to localized limitations in O2 supply.
J. Blasiak, A. Kuang, C.S. Farhangi and M.E. Musgrave
T. Caruso, P. Inglese, F. Sottile and F.P. Marra
Vegetative growth, fruit yields, and dry matter partitioning within above-ground components were assessed during three growing seasons for trees of an early ripening peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch `Flordaprince' on GF 677 rootstock) trained either to a free standing central leader (930 trees/ha) or to Y shape (1850 trees/ha). Individual trees trained to central leader gave higher fruit yield, had a significantly greater leaf area and accumulated more dry mass in above-ground components per tree than Y shape trees. The training systems did not differ in terms of yield efficiency (yield per trunk cross-sectional area) and leaf area index (LAI), but Y shape trees had a higher harvest index and fruit dry mass per ground area than central leader. Four years after planting, Y shape had 35% higher yield per hectare than central leader. The relative contribution of 1-year-old wood, shoot and leaf to the dry mass of the tree decreased with tree age. Four years after planting the dry matter partitioned to the >1-year-old wood components represented 60% of the total tree mass (excluding fruit) in both the training systems. Central leader trees had the highest relative vegetative growth rate during stage III of fruit development. Most starch depletion occurred from dormancy to pit hardening from the canopy main storage pools (>1-year-old wood), and was higher for central leader than Y shape trees. For the ease of management and the high crop efficiency, the Y shape can be successfully used for peach high density planting systems.
Donald E. Irving, Paul L. Hurst and Jonathan S. Ragg
During this study, we divided the developmental growth pattern of buttercup squash into three phases: 1) early growth, from flowering up to 30 days after flowering; 2) maturation, from 30 days until 60 days after flowering (or harvest); and 3) ripening, from 60 days (or harvest) until ≈100 days after flowering. Harvest occurred at 48 days after flowering. Fruit growth (expansion), starch, and dry matter accumulation were largely completed during early growth, and there was a progressive decline in the respiration rate. Extractable activities of acid and alkaline invertases, sucrose synthase, alkaline α-galactosidase, and sucrose phosphate synthase (assayed with saturating substrates) were high initially but declined markedly during this phase. Glucose, fructose, and low concentrations of raffinose saccharides were present, but no sucrose was detected. During maturation, starch and dry matter remained nearly constant and sucrose began to accumulate. During ripening, starch was degraded, sucrose synthase activity was significant but relatively constant, sucrose phosphate synthase activity increased, and sucrose continued to accumulate.
Robert C. Ebel, Edward L. Proebsting and Max E Patterson
`Delicious' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees received regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) early in the growing season to determine if fruit quality and storage life would he altered compared to well-watered trees. Soil moisture and leaf water potential were lower in RDI trees than in those that did not receive RDI most of the season. Internal ethylene concentration increased logarithmically earlier in RDI apples. At harvest, RDI fruit were smaller and had a higher soluble solids concentration (SSC) and lower titratable acidity. Starch degradation was delayed in RDI fruit, and their color was not affected. Firmness was not affected when the effect of size on firmness was removed. The SSC of RDI apples remained higher during storage, but starch content, titratable acidity, firmness, and color were similar.
Sylvia M. Blankenship and Robert W. Herdeman
Bananas were held at 18C in all possible combinations of 65%, 75%, or 95% relative humidity (RH) before and after gassing with ethylene. Peel color, fruit firmness, starch loss, compression injury to peel and pulp, and overall peel scarring were measured. Peels were greener and the fruit were slightly firmer when fruit were held in the higher humidity combinations, particularly when the humidity was high after gassing with ethylene. Starch loss was not different among humidity treatments. Overall peel scarring was about twice as severe with 65% RH compared to 95% RH during the ripening phase. Low humidity before ethylene gassing had little effect on overall scarring. There were some instances where humidity had a significant effect on compression injury; high humidity caused less injury, but the effect was inconsistent.
Sandra B. Wilson, Jeongwook Heo, Chieri Kubota and Toyoki Kozai
Sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam., `Beniazuma'] plantlets were grown photoautotrophically (without sugar) for 12 days in an improved forced ventilation system designed with air distribution pipes for uniform spatial distributions of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration. Enriched CO2 conditions and photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) were provided at 1500 μmol·mol-1 and 150 μmol·m-2·s-1, respectively. The forced (F) ventilation treatments were designated high (FH), medium (FM), and low (FL), corresponding to ventilation rates of 23 mL·s-1 (1.40 inch3/s), 17 mL·s-1 (1.04 inch3/s), and 10 mL·s-1 (0.61 inch3/s), respectively, on day 12. The natural (N) ventilation treatment was extremely low (NE) at 0.4 mL·s-1 (0.02 inch3/s), relative to the forced ventilation treatments. Total soluble sugar (TSS) and starch content were determined on day 12. Total soluble sugars (sucrose, glucose, fructose) of FH plantlets were lowest in leaf tissue and highest in stem tissue as compared to other ventilation treatments. Starch concentration was higher in leaf tissue of FH or FM plantlets as compared to that of FL or NE plantlets. Plantlets subjected to FH or FM treatments exhibited significantly higher net photosynthetic rates (NPR) than those of the other treatments; and on day 12, NPR was almost five times higher in the FH or FM treatment than the FL or NE treatments. Carbohydrate concentration of plantlets was also influenced by the position of the plantlets in the vessel. Within the forced ventilation vessels, leaf TSS of FH and FM plantlets was similar regardless of whether plantlets were located near the inlet or outlet of CO2 enriched air. However, under FH or FM conditions, leaf starch concentration was higher in plantlets located closest to the CO2 inlet as compared to the outlet.
Rui Zhou and Bruno Quebedeaux
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.
Dominique-André Demers, André Gosselin and H. Chris Wien
Sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) plants were grown under natural or supplemental lighting that extended thephotoperiods to 16, 20, or 24 hours. Increasing the photoperiod to 16 and 20 hours increased pepper plant yields, but continuous light (24 hours) decreased yields compared to the 20-hour photoperiod. In a second experiment, plants were exposed to a photoperiod of 14 or 24 hoursand either pruned to one fruit every four nodes or not pruned. During the first weeks of treatments, plants grown under continuous light had higher shoot mass (fresh and dry) and yields. After 7 to 8 weeks of treatments, plants under continuous light grew more slowly than plants exposed to a 14-hour photoperiod. At the end of the experiment, shoot mass and yields of plants grown under a 14-hour photoperiod were equal to or higher than plants under continuous light. So, it seems possible to provide continuous lighting for a few weeksto improve growth and yields. Limiting the number of fruit per plant increased shoot mass and decreased yields, but had no effect on the general response of pepper plants to photoperiod treatment. Leaf mineral composition was not affected by photoperiod treatment, indicating that reduced growth and yields under continuous light were not due to unbalanced mineral nutrition. Leaf starch and sugar contents were increased under continuous light. However, fruit pruning treatments did not modify the pattern of starch and sugar accumulation under the different photoperiod treatments. Reduced growth and yields measured under a 24-hour photoperiod are probably explained by starch and sugar accumulation in leaves as a result of leaf limitations rather than a sink limitation.
Xuan Liu, Paul W. Robinson, Monica A. Madore, Guy W. Witney and Mary Lu Arpaia
Changes in soluble sugar and starch reserves in avocado (Persea americana Mill. on `Duke 7' rootstock) fruit were followed during growth and development and during low temperature storage and ripening. During the period of rapid fruit size expansion, soluble sugars accounted for most of the increase in fruit tissue biomass (peel: 17% to 22%, flesh: 40% to 44%, seed: 32% to 41% of the dry weight). More than half of the fruit total soluble sugars (TSS) was comprised of the seven carbon (C7) heptose sugar, D-mannoheptulose, and its polyol form, perseitol, with the balance being accounted for by the more common hexose sugars, glucose and fructose. Sugar content in the flesh tissues declined sharply as oil accumulation commenced. TSS declines in the seed were accompanied by a large accumulation of starch (≈30% of the dry weight). During postharvest storage at 1 or 5 °C, TSS in peel and flesh tissues declined slowly over the storage period. Substantial decreases in TSS, and especially in the C7 sugars, was observed in peel and flesh tissues during fruit ripening. These results suggest that the C7 sugars play an important role, not only in metabolic processes associated with fruit development, but also in respiratory processes associated with postharvest physiology and fruit ripening.
John A. Barden and Michele E. Marini
A rootstock planting was established with `Starkspur Supreme Delicious' apple (Malus dornestica Borkh.) on nine rootstock near Blacksburg, Va. Five uniformly sized fruit per tree were sampled 1 week before normal harvest and three five-fruit samples were taken at harvest. Rootstock had no consistent effect on the proportion of red surface, which averaged ≈90% Ground color was most yellow for fruit from trees on M.26 EMLA and least yellow from trees on M.27 EMLA, OAR1, and MAC24. Starch was lowest for fruit from trees on MAC9 and (Ottawa) 0.3 and highest from trees on OAR1 and MAC24. Firmness differences were neither large nor consistent and ranged from 71 to 78 N. Soluble solids concentrations (SSC) of fruit were consistently high for fruit from trees on MAC9 and 0.3. A maturity index was calculated from the two harvest samples per year. Data for SSC, starch ratings, and ground color were ranked, and the highest maturity index was for fruit from trees on 0.3, MAC9, and M.26 EMLA.