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Calcium Deficiency Causes Pithiness in Japanese Pear (Pyrus pyrifolia cv. Niitaka) Fruit

칼슘 결핍에 의한 '신고' 배 (Pyrus pyrifolia cv. Niitaka) 과실에서의 바람들이

  • Received : 2012.11.07
  • Accepted : 2013.05.04
  • Published : 2013.06.30

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Pithy pear fruit are not distinguished externally from sound fruit and thus often cause unexpected economic losses. To find out the cause of pithiness, the pithiness incidence and characteristics of Japanese pear (Pyrus pyrifolia cv. Niitaka) fruit picked from a spot frequently produced pithy fruit in an orchard were compared with those of fruit picked from another spot produced sound fruit every year. And the soil chemical properties of the two spots and mineral contents in fruit, shoots, and leaves of Japanese pear trees cultivated in the two spots were also examined. METHODS AND RESULTS: The pithiness incidence was 0, 8.8, and 11.3% at 7 days before and 0 and 7 days after optimal harvest date, respectively, in the spot frequently produced pithy fruit. Flesh firmness was significantly lower in pithy fruit than in sound fruit, while soluble solids content was slightly higher in pithy fruit than in sound fruit. Unlike other mineral contents, Ca content was significantly lower in pithy fruit than in sound fruit. These results indicate that Ca deficiency in fruit is closely associated with decrease in flesh firmness and thus pithiness development. Ca content in soil of the spot frequently produced pithy fruit was also significantly lower than that in soil of the spot produced sound fruit. However, shoots or leaves did not exhibit significant difference in Ca and/or other mineral contents between the two spots, indicating that Ca deficiency in fruit is dependent on the translocation of Ca within a plant rather than soil Ca status. Although total-N, available $P_2O_5$, K, and Ca contents were significantly lower in soil of the spot frequently produced pithy fruit than in soil of the spot produced sound fruit, Mg and Na contents and pH were not different between the soil conditions. CONCLUSION(S): Fruit maturity and Ca level in fruit are closely related to the incidence of pithiness in 'Niitaka' Japanese pear.

Keywords

Calcium deficiency;Flesh firmness;Minerals;Pithiness;Pyrus pyrifolia

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