October 29 – November 2, 2012
We learned that the factors in fruit quality are size, shape, color, blemishes, and texture. Fruit Skin Blemishes are a problem because they affect marketability of fresh fruit. People’s perception towards fruit skin blemishes lead to a decrease of sales of the fruits affected by them. They biotic causes of fruit blemishes are insects, mites, bacteria, and fungi. Then we covered in class the abiotic causes were wind, hail, sunburn, and low or high temperatures.
Further, the fruit maturity factors. Fruits can be climacteric and Non-climacteric. Climacteric fruits refer to fruits that have high respiration rate during the fruit's ripening. During the ripening process of climacteric fruits, the production of a phytohormone, ethylene, dramatically increase up to 1000-fold of the basal ethylene level. Climacteric fruits are ones that are able to ripen after being picked. Examples of climacteric fruits are bananas, apples, pears, and avocados. On the other hand, Non-climacteric fruits are fruits that does not ripen after harvest. Examples of non-climacteric fruits are citrus, grapes, cherries, raspberries, strawberries and cashews.
Dormancy is a state of temporary metabolic inactivity or minimal activity. Plants generally go dormant in response to adverse growing conditions. For example: perennial plants going dormant for the winter or grass going dormant in intense heat. They stop growing and conserve energy until better cultural conditions present themselves. This happens naturally as seasons and weather changes. It can also be artificially controlled to store plants for shipping or to get them to flower for particular holidays. Forcing bulbs and flowering branches in the spring is a way of artificially breaking dormancy.
It's helpful to mulch over perennial plants, once the ground has frozen, to prevent them from breaking dormancy too soon.