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The leaf vapor conductance ( g l ) is a useful index for the management of plant water status. The value of g l is often estimated using porometry (e.g., Bakker, 1991 ). Bunce (2006) noted, however, that porometry is not suitable to evaluate

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Shinichi Ichimaru for use of the vapor heat chamber at Diamond Head Papaya Co., Keaau, Hawaii, and for participating in the study. Funding for this research was provided in part by the Governor's Agriculture Coordinating Committee, State of Hawaii, Grant no

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Abbreviations: MC, moisture content; ψ, needle water potential; VPD, vapor pressure deficit. 1 Associate Professor. 2 Agricultural Research Technician. This research was funded by the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, Raleigh, NC

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water stress resulting from high vapor-pressure deficit (VPD). Under higher plant density, the VPD near the leaf surface decreases as a result of the thicker boundary layer ( Kim et al., 1996b ; Kitaya et al., 1998 ), which inhibits water vapor exchange

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Acetic acid (AA) as a vapor at low concentrations was effective in preventing fruit decay by postharvest fungi. Fumigation with 2.7 or 5.4 mg AA/liter in air at 2 and 20C reduced germination of Botrytis cinerea Pers. and Penicillium expansum Link conidia to zero after they had been dried on 0.5-cm square pieces of dialysis tubing. Decay of `Golden Delicious', `Red Delicious', and `Spartan' apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) inoculated with 20 μl drops of conidia of B. cinerea (1.0 × 105 conidia/ml) or P. expansum (1.0 × 106 conidia/ml) was prevented by fumigating with 2.0 and 2.7 mg AA/liter, respectively. Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), grapes (Vitis vinifera L.), and kiwifruit [Actinidia deliciosa (A. Chev.) C.F. Liang et R. Ferguson var. deliciosa] inoculated with B. cinerea or navel oranges (Citrus sinensis L.) inoculated with P. italicum Wehmer did not decay when fumigated with 2.0 mg AA/liter at 5C. AA fumigation at low temperatures (1 and 5C) with 2.0 or 4.0 mg AA/liter prevented decay of `Spartan' and `Red Delicious' apples and `Anjou' pears (Pyrus communis L.) inoculated with B. cinerea and P. expansum, respectively. `Spartan' apples immersed in a suspension of P. expansum conidia (1.4 × 105 conidia/ml) and fumigated with 2.7 mg AA/liter at 5C had an average of 0.7 lesions per fruit compared to 6.1 for nontreated fruit. Increasing the relative humidity from 17% to 98% increased the effectiveness of AA fumigation at 5 and 20C. At the concentrations used in our trials, AA had no apparent phytotoxic effects on the fruit. The potential for commercial fumigation with AA to control postharvest decay of fruit and vegetables appears promising.

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The potential use of vapor phase hydrogen peroxide (VPHP) to prevent decay caused by Botrytis cinerea Pers. ex Fr. in table grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) was investigated. `Thompson Seedless' and `Red Globe' grapes, inoculated with Botrytis cinerea spores, were placed in polyethylene bags and flushed for 10 minutes with VPHP generated from a 30% to 35% solution of liquid hydrogen peroxide at 40C. Immediately after treatment, bags were sealed and held at 10C. Vapor phase hydrogen peroxide significantly reduced the number of terminable Botrytis spores on grapes. The number of terminable spores on `Thompson Seedless' and `Red Globe' grapes had been reduced 81% and 62%, respectively, 24 hours following treatment. The incidence of decay on inoculated `Thompson Seedless' and `Red Globe' grapes was reduced 33% and 16%, respectively, after 8 days of storage at 10C compared with control fruit. Vapor phase hydrogen peroxide reduced the decay of noninoculated `Thompson Seedless' and `Red Globe' grapes 73% and 28%, respectively, after 12 days of storage at 10C. Treatment with VPHP did not affect grape color or soluble solids content.

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We are investigating alternative strategies to control scald on apples. Ethanol vapors were applied to `Law Rome' and `Red Delicious' apples in the storage chambers by ventilating air through aqueous solutions of ethanol at different concentrations, and in modified atmosphere packages by adding various initial concentrations of ethanol vapor. Fruits in storage chambers treated with ethanol vapor at 1600 ppm for about 2 months showed no scald when stored for an additional period in air storage whereas the scald index in control was up to 2.33 (the highest is 3). The similar results in the modified atmosphere experiments confirmed that ethanol vapor could prevent apple scald. Ethanol vapor treatment was also correlated with a reduction of α-farnesene production by the fruits. α-farnesene is an isoprenoid metabolite in the pathway to carotenoid synthesis that has been implicated indirectly as a factor in scald development. Evidence for this based on diphenylamine (DPA) reducing the level of a conjugated terpene product of α-farnesene oxidation. Our results suggested that the control of scald by ethanol vapor treatment may be related to the reduction of α-farnesene production and its subsequent oxidation. Ethanol vapor treatment resulted in accumulation of ethanol in the fruits in direct proportion to the ethanol concentration administered and reduced the rate of ethylene production, and the internal ethanol levels dropped rapidly when fruits were returned to air without ethanol vapor.

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A portable, nondispersive infrared (NDIR) gas analyzer was modified to measure the concentration of CO2 and water vapor in small gas samples. A 2-mL gas sample was taken from a series of sealed flasks partially filled with a saturated solution of chemicals known to produce various levels of relative humidity (RH). The modified NDIR instrument quantified water vapor content by its absorption at 2.59 μm. Peak height was displayed on a strip chart recorder and a standard curve constructed. At a specific temperature, the vapor pressure (VP) and vapor pressure difference (VPD) were calculated for sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L., cv. Mazurka) fruit packed in trays that were covered with plastic films having several levels of perforations. Water loss from the fruit was highly correlated with VPD inside the packages. The modified NDIR instrument has an advantage over other instruments used to measure RH because it can rapidly and simultaneously determine the concentration of water vapor and CO2 in a single injection of a small gas sample.

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Vapors of several common vinegars containing 4.2% to 6.0% (= 2.5 to 3.6 mol·L-1) acetic acid effectively prevented conidia of brown rot [Monilinia fructicola (G. Wint.) Honey], gray mold (Botrytis cinerea Pers.:Fr.), and blue mold (Penicillium expansum Link) from germinating and causing decay of stone fruit (Prunus sp.), strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa Duchesne), and apples (Malus ×domestica Borkh.), respectively. Fruit were fumigated in 12.7-L sealed containers in which vinegar was dripped on to filter paper wicks or vaporized by heating from an aluminum receptacle. Vapor from 1.0 mL of red wine vinegar (6.0% acetic acid) reduced decay by M. fructicola on `Sundrop' apricots (Prunus armeniaca L.) from 100% to 0%. Similarly, vapor from 1.0 mL of white vinegar (5.0% acetic acid) reduced decay in strawberries by B. cinerea from 50% to 1.4%. Eight different vinegars, ranging from 4.2% to 6.0% acetic acid, of which 0.5 mL of each vinegar was heat-vaporized, reduced decay by P. expansum to 1% or less in `Jonagold' apples. The volume of heat-vaporized white vinegar (5.0% acetic acid) necessary to reduce decay by P. expansum on `Jonagold' apples to zero was 36.6 μL·L-1 of air. Increasing the number of conidia on the apple surface reduced the effectiveness of vinegar vapor. The number of lesions caused by P. expansum on `McIntosh' apple decreased exponentially with increasing time of fumigation, approaching zero after about 6 hours. These results suggest that vinegar vapor could be an effective alternative to liquid biocides such as sodium hypochlorite for sterilization of surfaces contaminated by conidia of fungal pathogens.

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The effects of three highly refined petroleum spray oils and of ambient vapor pressure on net CO2 assimilation (A) and stomatal conductance of water vapor (gs) of single grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) leaves were investigated. Overall, gs of various-aged leaves was decreased by a large leaf-to-air vapor pressure difference (VPD). In the first experiment, oils with midpoint distillation temperatures (50% DT) of 224, 235, and 247C were applied with a hand atomizer at concentrations of 0, 1%, and 4% oil emulsions in water and 100% oil, all with 0.82% surfactant (by volume). There was a tendency for oils of the two higher DT to decrease net gas exchange during a subsequent 12 days, but significant differences could not be attributed to oil DT. Both A and gs were reduced by the two higher concentrations of oil mixtures. In the second experiment, a commercial airblast sprayer was used to apply the 224C oil at 4% or the 235C oil at 2% and 4% mixtures plus surfactant under field conditions. There were no significant effects of oil treatments on net gas exchange of leaves either measured under moderate VPD outdoors 1 day after spraying or under low VPD in the laboratory 2 days after spraying. No visible phytotoxic symptoms were observed in either experiment.

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