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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Manipulation of Ethylene Responses in Apple and Pear Fruit
2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The project aims to identify roles of ethylene action in development of apple and pear fruit physiological disorders. Research will focus on identification of key physiological events that lead to development of internal and external CO2 injury (apple) and chilling injury (apple and pear).


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Materials to stimulate (ethephon) or reduce (1-methylcyclopropene) ethylene production and activity, respectively, will be applied to apple and pear fruit at various rates and selected intervals prior to and/or after harvest. Physiological (volatile production, respiration, ethylene-related metabolites) and horticultural (color, weight, firmness, acidity,sugar content) indicators of fruit development will be determined using fruit sampled at various intervals at harvest and after storage. All evaluations will be conducted at the Tree Fruit Research Laboratory in Wenatchee.


3.Progress Report:

This project relates to objective 2 of the associated in-house project which seeks to identify factors that influence postharvest fruit quality and development of market limiting physiological disorders. Studies conducted in 2012-13 showed inhibition of ethylene action in pear and apple fruit reduced development of postharvest disorders that limit fruit marketability. Inhibition of ethylene action after harvest allowed ‘d’Anjou’ pears to be stored at higher storage temperatures compared to current commercial practice. ‘Gala’ apples developed less internal browning over a 6 months storage period when treated with an ethylene action inhibitor at the onset of the storage period.


Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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