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Angela R. Davis and Stephen R. King

The Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture announces the release of MSW-28, a watermelon [ Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai)] line that exhibits medium sugar content (brix) and full flavor of

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S.R. Drake, T.A. Eisele, D.C. Elfving, M.A. Drake, S.L. Drake, and D.B. Visser

In a study conducted over three crop seasons, Ethrel (ETH) increased the Brix, sucrose, and sorbitol content of 'Scarletspur Delicious' apple juice while reducing the fructose content. Both longer preharvest exposure to, and higher concentrations of, ETH had a stronger influence than application closer to harvest and/or at lesser amounts. Time of ETH application tended to influence individual carbohydrates more so than amount of ETH applied. ETH reduced total acidity and also reduced apple juice individual acid (quinic and malic) contents with longer preharvest exposure or higher concentrations. Aminoethoxyvinylglycine [AVG (ReTain)] reduced both Brix and sucrose content of 'Scarletspur Delicious' apple juice, but had no influence on either total acidity or individual acid contents. Combinations of AVG with ETH tended to counteract the influence of either used alone on total Brix, carbohydrates, total acidity and individual acids. Mineral content of 'Scarletspur Delicious' apple juice was not strongly influenced by application of either ETH or AVG.

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Muhammad Imran Al-Haq, Junichi Sugiyama, Akiko Tomizawa, and Yasuyuki Sagara

The effect of amount of manure (animal dung) on the texture of muskmelons (Cucumis melo L.) has been studied. Melons were grown in a greenhouse with 20 and 50 t·ha-1 of manure. Melons were harvested four times at 4-day intervals and kept at ambient conditions for about 8-12 days. Texture was determined by using “Firm Tester” that employs acoustic technology and to provide a firmness index expressed as transmission velocity [meters per second (m/s)]. At the time of the first, second, third and fourth harvest the fruit grown with 20 t·ha-1 manure gave mean transmission velocities of 54.5 ± 2.5, 55.2 ± 5.7, 49.6 ± 4.8, and 46.8 ± 9.4 m/s, respectively. Linear regression equations for fruit grown with 20 t·ha-1 manure showed that the fruit from the first harvest took 10 days to reach 40 m/s, while fruit from the second, third and fourth harvest took 11, 9.5, and 4 days, respectively, to reach this index. The corresponding values for fruit grown in 50 t·ha-1 of manure were 7.5, 10, 5.5 and 4.5 days, those from the second harvest gave the best keeping quality. The firmness index of melon grown in 20 t·ha-1 of manure was greater than that grown in 50 t·ha-1 manure. Higher soil NO3-N contents were associated with softer melons. The correlation between panelist scores for texture and the firmness index was 0.907. Both °Brix and panelist scores for sweetness indicated that manure did not affect the sweetness of melon. The digital firmness tester could detect the effect of manure on the texture of the melons, and could be used to determine the appropriate time of harvest for each and every individual melon.

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Ed Echeverria and Mohamed Ismail

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Connie L. Fisk, Yanyun Zhao, and Bernadine C. Strik

Iodine staining of starch was explored as a harvest index for hardy kiwifruit (Actinidia arguta). Weekly from 2 Sept. to 14 Oct. 2005, the cut surfaces of 20 halved fruit were dipped in an iodine solution and the staining intensity was measured using digital photography and color analysis. Harvest date had a significant effect on percent soluble solids and each of the color readings (L*, a*, b*, and chroma) before and after staining. Fruit harvested later in the season had less starch and thus were lighter in color. However, an observable color difference was only visually apparent weeks after commercial harvest is recommended based on percent soluble solids. Therefore, while the technique can distinguish the conversion of starch to sugar in hardy kiwifruit berries, it cannot be used as a harvest index.

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Frederick S. Davies, Glenn R. Zalman, Ed Stover, and Scott Ciliento

EcoLyst, a formulation of N-N-diethyl-2-(4-methylbenzyloxy) ethylamine hydrochloride containing 1 g/floz [4.5 oz/gal (33.8 g·L-1)] a.i., is a plant growth regulator that has been reported to increase soluble solids concentration (SSC) in juice oranges by 0.6% to 1.2%. Our objectives were to determine the effectiveness of EcoLyst application for increasing SSC in Florida oranges (Citrus sinensis) and grapefruit (C. paradisi), and to identify the optimum rate and time of application. Experiments were conducted for three seasons using `Hamlin,' `Pineapple,' and `Valencia' sweet oranges; and for two seasons using `Flame,' `Marsh,' and `Ray Ruby' grapefruit, all in commercial groves. EcoLyst was applied at 6 and 12 floz/acre (0.44 and 0.88 L·ha-1) for oranges and 16 and 32 ppm (mg·L-1) [effectively 9 and 18 floz/acre (0.66 and 1.32 L·ha-1) in most sprays] for grapefruit, and included Silwet L-77 adjuvant at 0.05%. Applications were made at several stages of development from prebloom to initial fruit set. In all cases, SSC was determined as juice corrected SSC, by adjusting refractometer readings based on titratable acidity. In 13 trials with sweet orange only five displayed significant increases in SSC (P ≤ 0.05) resulting from EcoLyst application. Two additional trials produced SSC increases significant at P < 0.10. Even where significant increases in SSC occurred they were typically observed in only one harvest and at one time of application and were always relatively low in magnitude (highest increase over controls was 0.38%). No rate or timing of EcoLyst application was consistently associated with best response, although eight of nine SSC increases observed in orange occurred with applications ranging from prebloom to 25% open flowers. Only one significant increase in SSC was observed in five trials with grapefruit. In these studies, increases in SSC resulting from EcoLyst application were neither sufficiently consistent nor large enough to justify a recommendation for commercial use in Florida citrus.

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Matthew D. Kleinhenz

A total of 21 and 28 standard and experimental varieties of yellow and white se- and sh2-type sweet corn (Zea mays) were planted in 1999 and 2000 in Fremont and Wooster, Ohio, which are separated by 193.1 km (120 miles) and contain different soil types. Data are reported here for a subset of these varieties (eight yellow, two white) showing a consistently high level of use in Ohio and planted in both years. Endosperm types were planted in distinct, parallel experiments separated by a minimum of 79.9 m (262 ft) at each site. A randomized complete block design with four replications per variety (V) per location (L) was used, with measures of 13 production- and market-based variables taken from emergence to 48 hours after harvest. Soluble solids 48 hours after harvest were greater at Wooster than Fremont in the sh2 study. Variety had a significant, independent effect on mean plant and ear height in the se and sh2 study, respectively, although further analysis of year × variety (Y × V) and location × variety (L × V) interactions suggested that V affected additional traits. On average, `Tuxedo' (se) and `HMX6383S' (sh2) had superior com-binations of grower- and consumer-oriented traits. However, varieties with the highest levels of percent emergence and marketable yield tended to have lower levels of soluble solids, regardless of endosperm type. Y × V interactions were primarily due to changes in the magnitude of values for individual varieties in each year, not from changes in their relative ranking. The Y × L × V interaction was significant (P ≤ 0.05) for marketable yield, plant and ear height, and the ratio of ear length to diameter in the se study, but zero variables in the sh2 study. Coefficients of determination (R 2) for selected plant and ear traits were unaffected by location. Overall, R2 values ranged from 0.04 (number of rows of kernels × ear diameter, sh2 study) to 0.83 (shank length × total ear length, sh2 study). These data reinforce that genetics strongly affect key traits in sweet corn and identify two potential top performers. The data also suggest that independent L or L × V effects may be minor relative to V effects, even when locations are separated by moderate distances and contain different soil types. Therefore, including more varieties but fewer sites may be warranted in future variety trials. The data also suggest that 1) ratings of variety performance should be based on objective measures of grower- and market-oriented traits and 2) shank length × total ear length and ear height × plant height relationships may be used to improve the efficiency of future evaluations.

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Triston Hooks, Genhua Niu, Joe Masabni, Youping Sun, and Girisha Ganjegunte

content (Brix), and fruit resistance to split, sunburn, and black rot. Fruits were individually inspected for split, sunburn, and black rot, and the incidences were recorded as the percent of the fruit showing symptoms. Resistance was calculated by

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Michael E. Tarter and Stefano Poni

; and 3) compare the final soluble solids concentrations (°Brix) of wings with clusters' °Brix (wing berries excluded). The latter hypotheses concern comparisons between wing and cluster °Brix similar to hypotheses concerning a berry's location along a

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Michael J. Costello

each plot (with the outer two rows a buffer) and middle four vines of each row (with the outer two vines a buffer). Just before harvest in each year, 50 berries per plot were randomly sampled, weighed, and percent sugar (°Brix) estimated with a handheld