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David Obenland, Dennis Margosan, Joseph L. Smilanick, and Bruce Mackey

, had fruit with obvious differences in overall peel quality, the effect of sorting for fluorescing areas on the fruit was remarkably similar among the tests as can be seen by comparing the proportions of the various quality classes in each of the groups

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Lyle T. Wallace and Michael J. Havey

(USDA) Plant Introduction (PI) 401734 produced significantly higher numbers of wild-type progenies ( Havey et al., 2004 ). A nuclear locus, Paternal sorting of mitochondria ( Psm ), controls sorting to the wild-type phenotype in progenies from crosses

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Burcu Begüm Kenanoglu, Ibrahim Demir, and Henk Jalink

( Steckel et al., 1989 ; Ward et al., 1992 ). Chlorophyll in white-seeded Phaseolus vulgaris seeds is visible and may be detected and sorted by color-sorting seed conditioning equipment ( Lee et al., 1998 ). Another non-destructive technique for assessing

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J. Song, P.R Armstrong, and R.M. Beaudry

Chloroplast fluorescence as a nondestructive tool for assessing `Red Delicious', `Golden Delicious' and `Law Rome' apple fruit quality was examined after approximately 4.5 months storage. Fluorometry parameters of minimal fluorescence (Fo), maximal fluorescence (Fm) and quantum yield (Fm-Fo)/Fm (otherwise denoted as Fv/Fm) were determined. All fluorescence parameters declined with time as apple fruit were maintained at 22°C in air. Fv/Fm was found to correlate well with firmness for `Red Delicious' fruit. A decline in Fo with time correlated very well with the development of yellow coloration of `Golden Delicious' fruit. The Fv/Fm value was consistently higher for controlled-atmosphere (CA) stored fruit than for regular-air (RA) stored fruit. When CA and RA stored `Law Rome' fruit were combined and a Fv/Fm value of 0.685 was used to resegregate fruit from the two storage regimes. Resegregation was achieved with 75% accuracy, with only 5% RA-stored fruit incorrectly identified as CA-stored. The accuracy, speed of assessment and light-based nature of fluorometry suggest it may have some practical use as a tool for sorting apple and other chlorophyll-containing fruit on commercial packinglines.

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A.G. Taylor, D.B. Churchill, S.S. Lee, D.M. Bilsland, and T.M. Cooper

Color sorting was performed to upgrade seed quality by removal of fluorescent coated seeds. The fluorescent coating was attributed to sinapine leakage from nonviable seeds. Nine seedlots, three seedlots each of cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata group), broccoli, and cauliflower (B. oleracea L. Botrytis group) were custom coated. Seed samples were pretreated before coating with or without 1.0% NaOCl for 10 minutes to enhance leakage. All samples revealed a percentage of seeds with fluorescence. The light emission from selected fluorescent and nonfluorescent coated seeds was quantified by fiber-optic spectrophotometry. Fluorescence was expressed from 400 to 560 nm, with peak emission being from 430 to 450 nm. These data confirmed our visual interpretation of blue-green fluorescence. The ratio of light emission from fluorescent compared to nonfluorescent coated seeds ranged from 4.5 to 7.0 for all samples and averaged 5.7. An ultraviolet (UV) color sorter was employed to separate fluorescent (reject) from nonfluorescent (accept) coated seeds. The percentage of nonfluorescent coated seeds (averaged over seedlot and NaOCl pretreatment) before and after sorting was 89.5% and 95.9%, respectively. Therefore, color sorting was able to remove a high percentage of fluorescent coated seeds with an average loss (rejection of nonfluorescent coated seeds) of 6%. An increase in the percent germination was recorded in eight of the nine seedlots following color sorting, and the greatest improvement was obtained with seedlots of medium quality. Germination of three medium quality lots was increased by 10 to 15 percentage points. The average increase in germination with or without NaOCl pretreatment was 8.2 and 5.5 percentage points, respectively. In conclusion, the germination of Brassica seedlots could be improved by separating (removing) fluorescent from nonfluorescent coated seeds. UV color sorting technology was employed to demonstrate that seed conditioning could be conducted on a commercial basis to upgrade seed quality.

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Meny Benady, Amots Hetzroni, James E. Simon, and Bruce Bordelon

We have developed an electronic sensor (“sniffer”) that measures fruit ripeness rapidly and nondestructively by measuring the aromatic volatiles that are naturally emitted by ripening fruit. In this study, we evaluated the potential of using the fruit ripeness sniffer in the quality sorting of blueberries. Blueberries were first visually classified into four distinct ripeness classes: unripe; half-ripe; ripe; and over-ripe and quantitatively measured for color, firmness, TSS, and sugar acid ratio. Ripeness classification accuracy with the sniffer matched or exceeded that of all other ripeness indices. The sniffer differentiated unripe, ripe and over-ripe berries within one second, but could not distinguish between the unripe and half-ripe class. Detection of l-2 damaged or 1-2 soft fruit spiked within a large container of 24-37 high quality ripe fruit was also achieved, but required a response time of 10 seconds. Electronic sensing of aromatic volatiles may be a useful new technique in the grading and sorting of blueberries.

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Jun Song, Weimin Deng, Randolph M. Beaudry, and Paul R. Armstrong

Trends in chlorophyll fluorescence for `Starking Delicious', `Golden Delicious' and `Law Rome' apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) fruit were examined during the harvest season, during refrigerated-air (RA) storage at 0 °C, following RA and controlled-atmosphere (CA) storage, and during a poststorage holding period at 22 °C. Fluorescence parameters of minimal fluorescence (Fo), maximal fluorescence (Fm), and quantum yield [(Fm-Fo)/Fm, otherwise denoted as Fv/Fm] were measured. During `Starking Delicious' fruit maturation and ripening, Fv/Fm declined with time, with the rate of decline increasing after the ethylene climacteric. During RA storage, all fluorescence parameters remained constant for approximately 2 weeks, then steadily declined with time for `Starking Delicious' fruit. Superficial scald was detected after Fv/Fm had declined from an initial value of 0.78 to ≈0.7. Fv/Fm was consistently higher for CA-stored fruits than for RA-stored fruits. We were able to resegregate combined populations of “high-quality” (CA) and “low-quality” (RA) `Law Rome' fruit with 75% accuracy using a threshold Fv/Fm value of 0.685, with only 5% RA-stored fruit incorrectly identified as being of high quality. During a poststorage holding period, Fo, Fm, and Fv/Fm correlated well with firmness for `Starking Delicious', but not for `Golden Delicious' fruit, which were already soft. Fo and Fm were linearly correlated with hue angle for 'Golden Delicious' fruit, decreasing as yellowness increased. The accuracy, speed of assessment, and light-based nature of fluorescence suggests that it may have some practical use as a criterion to assist in sorting apple or other chlorophyll-containing fruit or vegetables on commercial packing lines.

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Susan S.C. Liou* and William B. Miller

Tulip bulbs are produced in the Netherlands and are shipped to United States during the months of July and August in temperature-controlled shipping containers. Each shipment is often composed of a mixture of many cultivars. Mechanical failure of temperature controls may result in high temperatures that ultimately may reduce forcing quality of the bulbs. When such accidents occur, an immediate decision must be made about whether to invest more time and money on these potentially damaged bulbs. Such a decision is not easy because symptoms of heat damage are often delayed until months later. Research on a single cultivar, `Apeldoorn', has shown that heat stress can cause flower abortion and other abnormalities. However, cultivars undoubtedly vary in their response to heat stress. Thus in the 2002 and 2004 forcing seasons, ≈45 cultivars were screened for response to a standard heat stress of 4 days at 35 °C. Prior to the heat stress, bulbs were held at 17 °C or 9 °C for 4 weeks, mimicking conditions used for late and early forced bulbs, respectively. Flower and leaf height, percent flower abortion, and flowering date were evaluated. Heat stress caused flower abortion and reduced plant height in sensitive cultivars. Across all cultivars, cold storage prior to the heat stress significantly increased bulb's sensitivity to heat stress. Using percent flower abortion, cultivars were grouped into three categories: resistant, moderate, and susceptible. With this information, we hope that damage assessment may become easier and fewer bulbs wasted.

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Srini C. Perera and Peggy Ozias-Akins

Petiole protoplasts of the sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] cultivars Red Jewel and Georgia Jet formed cell walls within 24 hours and divided in 2 to 3 days. Pretreating enzyme solutions with activated charcoal increased the viability and division frequency of protoplasts. Culture of protoplast-donor plants in a medium containing STS did not affect plant growth, protoplasm yield, or viability, but did increase the division frequency. Culture of protoplasts for 24 hours in a medium containing DB, a cell wall synthesis inhibitor, or staining of protoplasts with FDA did not significantly affect division frequency. The division frequency of protoplasts cultured in liquid medium was significantly higher than that of protoplasts cultured in agarose-solidified medium. Cell cycle analysis of petioles and freshly isolated protoplasts showed that the latter has a significantly higher proportion of nuclei in G1 phase. Protoplasts did not initiate DNA synthesis or mitosis within the first 24 hours of culture. Low-frequency regeneration of shoots from protoplast-derived callus was accomplished on MS medium containing 1.0 mg ldnetin/liter when preceded by MS medium modified to contain only (in mg·liter-1) 800 NH4NO3, 1400 KNO3, 0.5 2,4-D, 0.5 kinetin, and 1.0 ABA. Roots produced from protoplast-derived callus formed adventitious shoots after 4 weeks on MS medium containing 2% sucrose, 0.02 mg kinetin/liter and 0.2% Gelrite. Secondary shoot formation from regenerated roots will be a more effective means of obtaining plants from protoplasts than direct shoot regeneration from callus. Chemical names used: silver thiosulfate (STS): 2.6-dichlorobenzonitrile (DB); fluorescein diacetate (FDA): 2.4-diacetate (FDA); 2.4 dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D); abscisic acid (ABA).

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W.J. van der Burg, J.W. Aartse, R.A van Zwol, H. Jalink, and R.J. Bino

Studies based on X-ray photographs were conducted to predict the morphology of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) seedlings at transplanting stage. Currently, seed-lot quality of tomato seeds for growing commercial transplants is determined with grow-out tests in the greenhouse because the standard germination test fails to predict the percentage of normal or usable transplants (UTs). These grow-out tests, however, are difficult to standardize. An X-ray evaluation procedure is presented as an alternative. X-ray images nondestructively provide information on embryo size and morphology and the amount of endosperm and the area of free space. These parameters correlate well with the morphology of 14-day old seedlings. Cotyledon morphology has the highest correlation with the percentage of UTs. A test based on the evaluation of X-ray images, classifying the cotyledon morphology and seed free space, predicts the percentage of UTs more accurately than the currently used germination test. A second method based on an equation that uses the probabilities of all X-ray categories proportionally predicts the percentage of UTs of primed seeds more accurately than the first method. Selecting individual seeds based on X-ray images has the potential to raise the percentage of UTs of seed lots. On the average, the percentage of UTs of control seeds was 22% higher after hand selection based on X-ray evaluation. Primed seeds gave 12% higher results. Hence, X-ray analysis can predict seedling performance and enable the selection of high-quality seeds.