Year of Publication

2006

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Agriculture

Department

Plant Physiology

First Advisor

Douglas D. Archbold

Abstract

The effects of AVG, an inhibitor of ethylene synthesis, in combination with MCP or heat treatment (HT) on quality traits of several apple cultivars after harvest (AH) or cold storage (ACS), and the involvement of ethylene in the regulation of SDH activity during the last weeks of fruit development were studied. AVG was applied to Royal Gala, Lodi, Senshu, Redchief Delicious and Red Fuji trees 4 weeks before normal harvest (H1). Control and AVG-treated (AVG) fruit were harvested at H1 and treated with MCP or air-heated. Fruit were ripened at room temperature (RT) AH or ACS. Some AVG fruit were harvested at H1 and 1 to 2 weeks after H1 (H2), or at H2 only. Ethylene production (EP), respiration rate (RR), firmness, starch index (SI), titratable acidity (TA), volatile production (VP) and AAT activity, among others, were measured AH and ACS. Peel and cortex of Gala were alcohol-fed and ester production quantified. EP and SDH presence and activity were measured at various harvest dates on control and AVG Lodi, Red Delicious and Fuji apples. AVG plus MCP was more effective in reducing HEP, RR, firmness and TA loss than either treatment alone; it did not provide further control on SI and did not repress Gala red skin color development more than AVG alone, though it consistently repressed VP. AVG plus HT was generally more effective than single treatments in reducing HEP, RR and firmness loss during storage. It was not different than the single treatments on TA, SI, and VP. The effect of AVG plus HT on fruit quality ACS was cultivar-dependent. AVG plus HT was not enough to maintain the quality of the earlyharvest cultivars, and it did not improve fruit quality of late-harvest cultivars. The effects of AVG plus MCP but not of AVG plus HT were evident at H2. Precursor availability was the major factor limiting VP, suggested by the low VP when RR was low, the increase in ester production in alcohol-fed samples, and the lack of correlation between AAT and ester production. SDH activity or expression was not affected by a reduction in ethylene production.

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