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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Epicuticular changes in response to ethylene regulation in apple

Location: Wenatchee, Washington

Project Number: 5350-43000-006-07-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2008
End Date: Sep 30, 2013

Determine interrelationship between controlled atmosphere (CA), relative humidity (RH), and SmartFresh (MCP) on apple cuticle structure, function and disorder.

Previously, work done at the ARS laboratory in Wenatchee indicated preharvest treatments that increased ethylene production in ‘Granny Smith’ apples also increased fruit epicuticular wax production during storage. Similarly, treatments that reduced postharvest ethylene production were associated with a delay in fruit epicuticular wax production during storage. Ethylene is implicated in apple epicuticular wax production. Wax production is necessary for “healing” the microcracking associated with normal fruit growth and cuticle expansion. Degree of microcracking “healing” by the time storage conditions are achieved influences fruit cuticle water vapor permeance, which, together with ambient conditions, establishes desiccation potential of fruit in storage. Moisture loss of fruit in storage followed by rewetting during water-based fruit processing may be implicated in cuticle cracking around lenticels, and disorders associated therewith. This project will focus on the interrelationship of fruit ethylene production, fruit cuticle water vapor permeance and ambient water vapor pressure during storage and the impact these have on physiological storage disorders.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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