Correlation of pyruvate kinase activity with bitter pit development in apple fruit

G. W. Witney, M. M. Kushad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The relationship between pyruvate kinase (pyruvate-ATP phosphotransferase, EC 2.7.1.40) activity, fruit cation concentration (Ca2+, Mg2+ and K+) and bitter pit in apple cultivar 'Smoothie Golden Delicious' fruit (Malus domestica Borkh.) was investigated. Fruit was sprayed with 1% (w/v) CaCl2, 1% (w/v) MgCl2 or a combination of both chemicals every 10 days, beginning 5 days after full bloom, in a factorial experiment designed to induce a range of post-storage bitter pit symptoms. Pyruvate kinase activity during the early stages of fruit growth was higher in fruit from treatments which developed 100% bitter pit after storage than in fruit from treatments that developed only 3% bitter pit. Fruit with a higher bitter pit incidence had a lower Ca2+:Mg2++K+ ratio than fruit with a low level of the disorder. There was a positive correlation between pyruvate kinase activity during the early stages of fruit development and bitter pit incidence after storage. Correlation coefficients (r) were highest in June (r=0.96), declined steadily until harvest (r=0.67) and were lowest after storage (r=0.12). Preliminary data indicate that an assay for pyruvate kinase may be valuable for early prediction of post-harvest bitter pit development and cation ratio.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-253
Number of pages7
JournalScientia Horticulturae
Volume43
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1990

Keywords

  • Malus domestica
  • apple fruit
  • physiological disorders
  • pyruvate kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture

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