Ethylene Levels and Fruit Quality of Silverleaf Whitefly-Infested Dwarf Cherry Tomato

Shahab Hanif-Khan, Jeffrey K. Brecht, Charles A. Powell, Peter J. Stoffella

Abstract


Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) irregular ripening (TIR) is a disorder of fruit pigmentation induced by the infestation of silverleaf whitefly (SLW), {Bemisia argentifolii Bellows and Peering). Experiments were conducted to differentiate the postharvest characteristics of the SLW-infested and control fruit. Ethylene production by SLW-infested fruit was 2-fold higher than control fruit on day 1 of measurement and declined thereafter. In general, the SLW-infested fruit were slightly lighter in color than the control fruit. The control fruit developed normal red color while the SLW-infested fruit developed blotchy and streaky symptoms and were overall more of an orange-red color. SLW-infested fruit were firmer than control fruit. Total soluble solids contents were not significantly different between the treatments. However, titratable acidity and pH measurements indicated that the SLW-infested fruit were more acidic than control fruit. SLW-infested fruit exhibited a high incidence of TIR symptoms, both externally (i.e., blotches and streaks) and internally (i.e., white tissues), as well as a star formation color pattern at the blossom end of the fruit while control fruit had no TIR symptoms. The ripening process in the SLW-infested fruit appeared slower compared with the control fruit.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283