Submitted to: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/5/2016
Publication Date: 8/1/2016
Citation: Stommel, J.R., Camp, M.J., Dumm, J.M., Haynes, K.G., Luo, Y., Schoevaars, A. 2016. Inheritance of fresh-cut fruit quality attributes in Capsicum. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 141(4):308-314. Interpretive Summary: A large component of breeding new fruits and vegetables focuses on disease and stress resistance. Breeding for fruit quality has received less attention. We conducted research to determine the inheritance of fruit quality traits that contribute to suitability of fresh pepper fruit for sliced or diced product. We determined that suitability of varieties for fresh-cut use varied from good to bad based on deterioration of sliced product during extended refrigerated storage. Inheritance for fresh-cut potential was moderate to low, suggesting that breeding superior peppers for the fresh-cut market will require extensive testing and slow breeding progress. The results afford opportunities for plant breeders to incorporate attributes that contribute to fresh cut quality into elite varieties that will benefit the food industry and consumers.
Technical Abstract: The fresh-cut fruit and vegetable industry has expanded rapidly during the past decade, due to freshness, convenience and the high nutrition that fresh-cut produce offers to consumers. The current report evaluates the inheritance of postharvest attributes that contribute to pepper fresh-cut product quality. Marketable full size green fruit of large-fruited Capsicum annuum accessions with bell and related pod types (Class 1), C. annuum accessions with jalapeno and serrano pod types (Class 2), and thin walled 'aji'-like tabasco pod types from C. baccatum, C. frutescens and C. chinense accessions (Class 3) were washed, sliced and stored at 4C in packages with selective oxygen transmission rate. Fresh-cut attributes were influenced by genotype as well as environment. For all pod types, O2 and CO2 partial pressures in storage packages, tissue weight loss and electrolyte leakage differed between accessions, days of storage, and years of testing. Accession x day interactions were significant in Class 1 and Class 2, but not in Class 3. Percent O2 generally declined and CO2 increased over days of storage. Percent O2 declined faster in Class 2 and Class 3 samples relative to that observed for Class 1. Electrolyte leakage increased over the 14 days of storage for Class 1 accessions but exhibited smaller increases in Class 2 and Class 3. Exceptional accessions were identified in Class 1 and Class 2 that maintained O2 and CO2 partial pressures within recommended ranges for pepper and stable electrolyte leakage over the storage period. Overall, changes in fruit weight loss were small. Broad-sense heritability estimated for fresh-cut attributes varied from high to low depending on the attribute and fruit class. Considerable variation with fresh-cut quality measures reduced the precision of heritability estimates, particularly for O2 and CO2 partial pressures and tissue weight loss.