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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wenatchee, Washington » Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research » Research » Research Project #436257

Research Project: Reducing Carbon Dioxide-Related Postharvest Disorders

Location: Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research

Project Number: 2094-43000-008-003-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2019
End Date: Mar 31, 2023

Internal and external postharvest disorders attributed to carbon dioxide sensitivity continue to contribute to annual losses. Symptoms of CO2 sensitivity are diverse but generally present on peel of less mature fruit and in flesh of more mature fruit of multiple existing cultivars. Symptoms can be eliminated using a combination of CO2 abatement and diphenylamine treatment of cultivars with average susceptibility. Eliminating CO2-related disorders can be more difficult where crop protectants are restricted or where fruit are highly sensitive. Also, newer cultivars present a challenge as damage can appear and sensitivity is unknown when they have never been screened. Evidence indicates that elevated CO2 exposure is linked with particular changes in peel and flesh chemistry that may reveal if fruit have been exposed to and/or compromised by elevated CO2 or if a particular injury resulted from CO2 exposure. We propose to develop a protocol for determining CO2 sensitivity of cultivars new to our growing region, determine best storage practices for those cultivars when produced under organic or crop protectant-restricted regimes, and determine means for assessing compromised asymptomatic and symptomatic fruit. Our goal is to reduce unexpected internal and external disorders in the organic apple cold-chain and improve diagnostic accuracy. Objectives: 1. Screen cultivars for CO2 sensitivity. 2. Determine best cold chain practices when CO2 sensitivity is indicated. 3. Indicate chemistry associated with CO2 sensitivity.

We propose to use an in-house protocol to screen cultivars for CO2 sensitivity. Thresholds for CO2 sensitivity will be established on sensitive cultivars. We will determine peel and flesh metabolism associated with browned tissue to establish a diagnostic fingerprint specific for CO2 related postharvest disorders using our in-house metabolic profiling protocols. Finally, we will test metabolic pathways of a sensitive cultivar using metabolic flux analysis.