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Mehar Asif, Prabodh Trivedi, Theophanes Solomos, and Autar Mattoo

We have studied the effects of MCP and low O2, applied singly and in combination, on apple fruit ripening at 1, 7, and 18 °C. The single application of 2 ppm MCP is more effective in delaying the onset of the C2H4 climacteric than is 1% O2. However, the combined application has a much larger effect than the single applications of either MCP or 1% O2. For instance, at 7 °C, the onset of the C2H4 climacteric occurs at 15, 50, and 90–95 days for the controls, 1% O2 and 2 ppm MCP, respectively, whereas the combined application of 2 ppm MCP and 1% O2 suppressed the initiation of the C2H4 climacteric for 200 days, the duration of the experiment. The retardation of the climacteric onset by the treatments is associated with the suppression of ACC-synthase (ACS1) and the putative receptor ERS1. The accumulation of their transcripts is critically dependent on the rate of C2H4 evolution. As expected, the combined application of MCP and 1% O2 completely suppressed the expression of both genes. Yet when the fruits were transferred to 18 °C in air, they ripened normally. A similar pattern of inhibition in response to the above treatments was also observed with a C2H4-dependent MAPK. The expression of ETR1, ETR2 and ACC-oxidase was not affected by the treatments. The nature of this strong effect of the combined application of MCP and low O2 is not clear. It should be pointed out that MCP does not inhibit the induction of hypoxic proteins such as ADH.

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Jennifer R. DeEll, Robert K. Prange, and Dennis P. Murr

Chlorophyll fluorescence, measured using a Plant Productivity Fluorometer Model SF-20 (Richard Brancker Research, Ottawa, Ont.), was evaluated as a rapid and nondestructive technique to detect low O2 and/or high CO2 stress in apples during storage. `Marshall' McIntosh apples were held for 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25 days at 3C in the following four treatments: standard O2 (2.5% to 3%) and low CO2 (<1%); low O2 (1% to 1.5%) and low CO2 (<1%); standard O2 (2.5% to 3%) and standard CO2 (4% to 4.5%); or standard O2 (2.5% to 3%) and high CO2 (11% to 12%). Only 10% of the apples had skin discoloration after 5 days in 1% to 1.5% O2, while 80% developed skin discoloration after 20 days in low O2. Small desiccated cavities in the cortex, associated with CO2 injury, developed in 10% of the apples after 20 days in 11% to 12% CO2. Both 1% to 1.5% O2 and 11% to 12% CO2 for 5 days caused chlorophyll fluorescence [Fv = (P – T)/P] of apple fruit to decrease, as compared to those held in standard atmospheres. Additional exposure time did not significantly affect Fv in either the low-O2 (1% to 1.5%) or high-CO2 (11% to 12%) treatment. The results of this study suggest that chlorophyll fluorescence can detect low-O2 and high-CO2 stress in apples, prior to the development of associated physiological disorders.

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P. Chowdary Talasila, Arthur C. Cameron, and Randolph M. Beaudry

In modified-atmosphere (MA) packaging of fruits and vegetables, there is a risk of generation of excessively low, injurious O2 levels due to improper package design, temperature abuse, and/or product respiration rate variation. When exposed to injurious O2 levels, product quality deteriorates and off-flavors develop. Also, there is increased production of ethanol and other fermentative volatiles. For blueberries, off-flavors were positively correlated with tissue ethanol level when the product was exposed to a range of O2 partial pressures (0 to 18 kPa) and temperatures (0 to 25C). A biosensor that measures ethanol level in package headspace will be useful for easy identification of the packages containing injured products. Biosensors that measure ethanol in aqueous solutions by a color change reaction are commercially available. We have found a positive correlation between the color (hue) of the sensor and headspace ethanol levels in packages containing cut broccoli at 22C. The utility of the biosensor in quality assurance (QA) based on the identification of low-O2 injury of the packaged products will be discussed.

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Theophanes Solomos

We have investigated the effects of different O2 concentrations on the onset of the climacteric rise in C2H4 evolution and subsequent ripening of `Gala' apples. The data show that the effect of low O2 on the timing of the onset of the C2H4 climacteric is saturable in that for low O2 to retard the onset of the rise in C2H4 evolution its concentration must be decreased below 8%. Further, the results suggest that the retarding effects of low O2 on the onset of ripening cannot be ascribed to the inhibitory effects of low O2 on the action of the low levels of C2H4 evolution by preclimacteric apples. The results concerning the rate of C2H4 evolution and accumulation of the ACC-oxidase protein show that application of low O2 after the initiation of the climacteric rise in C2H4 is not as effective in delaying senescence as when it is imposed early, i.e., at the preclimacteric stage.

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Dingbo Zhou and Theophanes Solomos

It has been demonstrated previously that 1.5% 02 suppresses the rise in respiration and appreciably diminishes the accumulation of sugars associated with the transfer of potatoes to chilling temperatures. The temporal relationships between respiration and the capacities of the terminal mitochondrial oxidases, and between sucrose metabolism and invertase activity were studied in tubers kept in air and under 1.5% at 1° C. Chilling temperatures induced de novo synthesis of the alternative oxidase. Initially there was a close temporal relationship between rise in respiration and capacity of the alternative oxidase. With time the rate of respiration declined while the capacity of the AO continued to increase. Low oxygen inhibited by 94-97% the rise in the AO. Paralled with the rise in glucose and fructose there was an increase in invertase activity which increased by twofold after 20 days at 1°. Four isoforms of invertase were identified with PI values of 5.8, 5.6, 5.4 and 5.17 from chilled tubers. Low O2 suppressed the rise in invertase.

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James R. Gorny and Adel A. Kader

The objective of this study was to compare and contrast the mode of action by which elevated carbon dioxide and/or reduced oxygen atmospheres inhibit ethylene biosynthesis. `Golden Delicious' apple fruit were placed at 0C in one of the following four atmospheres: 1) air; 2) air + 5% CO2; 3) 2% O2 + 98% N2; or 4) 2% O2 + 5% CO2 + 93% N2 and then sampled monthly for 4 months. Ethylene biosynthesis rates and in vitro ACC synthase activities were closely correlated in all treatments. In vitro ACC synthase activity and ethylene biosynthesis rates were lowest in fruit treated with 5% CO2 + 2% O2, while air-treated fruit had the highest ethylene biosynthesis rate and in vitro ACC synthase activity. Fruit treated with air + 5% CO2, or 2% O2 + 98% N2, had intermediate ethylene and in vitro ACC synthase activities. In vitro ACC oxidase was significantly different among treatments, but not as closely correlated with the ethylene biosynthesis rate as in vitro ACC synthase activity. Western blot analysis of the ACC oxidase protein was performed to determine if activity differences among treatments were correlated with the amount of enzyme present in vivo. ACC synthase and ACC oxidase mRNA transcript of abundance was determined via Northern blot analysis. Results will be discussed regarding how ethylene biosynthesis is inhibited at the molecular level by elevated CO2 and/or reduced O2.

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M. Darlene Mercer and Doyle A. Smittle

`Gemini II' cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) fruits were stored for 2, 4, or 6 days at 5 and 6C in 1989 and for 5 days at SC or 10 days at 3C in 1990. Chilling injury (CI) symptoms were rated after 2 to 4 days at 25C. Cell wall polysaccharide concentrations in the peels and in injured and noninjured portions of the peels were determined only in 1990. High CO2 and low O2 delayed the onset of CI symptoms, but did not prevent symptom development. Chilling injury symptoms increased with longer exposure to chilling temperatures. Solubilization of cell wall polysaccharides was associated with development of CI symptoms. Variations in low methoxyl pectinates accounted for 70% of the variation in CI.

Open access

Ling Li, Takashi Watanabe, Atsuko Uragami, Hiroaki Kitazawa, and Xiangyou Wang

study ( Kitazawa et al., 2014 ), the low O 2 treatment was continuous throughout the cultivation period. However, distinct periods of low O 2 treatment may be cost-effective and labor-saving in cultivation management. In addition, if low O 2 treatment

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Jennifer R. DeEll and Robert K. Prange

This paper reports preliminary results on the postharvest quality and storage characteristics of several scab-resistant apple cultivars. `Novaspy', `Moira', `Priscilla', `Novamac', `Nova Easygro', `Prima', and `Macfree' were stored for 3 months at 3C in air or standard controlled atmosphere (CA; 4.5% CO2 and 2.5% O2) in 1990 and for 4 months at 0C in air, standard CA, or low-O, CA (LO; 1.5% CO2 and 1.5% O2) in 1991. `Moira', `Prima', and `Priscilla' had very limited storage life. `Moira' was susceptible to bitterpit, scald, core browning, vascular breakdown, and storage rots. `Prima' was susceptible to core browning and vascular breakdown and had a high incidence of storage rots in air storage. `Priscilla' had several defects as a result of insect damage and was susceptible to bitterpit and scald. `Novaspy' stored very well and had virtually no physiological disorders or storage rots. `Novamac, `Nova Easygro', and `Macfree' developed few storage rots and were essentially at the end of their storage life after 4 months, regardless of storage conditions. Firmness in `Novamac' decreased substantially in all storage atmospheres, while `Nova Easygro' and `Macfree' were susceptible to core browning and scald.

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Nicole L. Waterland and Richard J. Gladon

, and a longer holding time may be desirable. When seed priming or presowing treatments were successful, deterioration and improper seed storage lead to losses of longevity and seed efficacy ( Bruggink et al., 1999 ; Taylor et al., 1998 ). Low-O 2