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Calcium application and impacts on cherry fruit quality


Measham, PF and Richardson, A and Townsend, A, Calcium application and impacts on cherry fruit quality, Proceedings of the 7th International Cherry Symposium, 23-27 June 2013, Plasencia, Spain. Acta Horticulturae 1161, pp. 375-381. ISSN 0567-7572 (2017) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Copyright 2017 ISHS

DOI: doi:10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1161.60


The most common mineral employed in the management of fruit cracking is calcium (Ca). Ca is a xylem mobile mineral, and as fruit xylem connections and pathways are thought to be reduced during maturation, so early accumulation is vital. Ca has been implicated in building resilience to cracking into fruit, with many studies exploring the impact of late season calcium chloride (CaCl2) spray applications on cracking. These trials have produced inconsistent results but early and repeated spray patterns for calcium uptake are supported by studies in apples. Enhanced Ca uptake rates have been recorded in the sweet cherry cultivar 'Van' with the use of thickeners and surfactants. A major limitation of using direct Ca application to prevent cracking is the unsightly residue left on the fruit, therefore the benefits must outweigh this disadvantage. To assess from where Ca was incorporated into fruit (vascular supply, or directly across the fruit skin) trials were undertaken in southern Tasmania, Australia which included Ca applications supplied via fertigation and/or foliar spray applications. Foliar sprays commenced either before or after Stage II (pit-hardening) of fruit development to assess when any uptake occurred. Ca levels were assessed using ICP-MS at both Stage II and at harvest maturity. It was expected that increased calcium would strengthen fruit tissue and reduce cracking resulting from rain. Relationships between fruit Ca and fruit quality (firmness) were explored, and the potential for continued use of Ca in mediating fruit cracking after rainfall discussed.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:plant physiology, fruit quality, cherry, cracking, calcium fertigation
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Horticultural production
Research Field:Horticultural crop growth and development
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Horticultural crops
Objective Field:Stone fruit (excl. avocado)
UTAS Author:Measham, PF (Dr Penny Measham)
UTAS Author:Richardson, A (Miss Angela Richardson)
UTAS Author:Townsend, A (Associate Professor Ashley Townsend)
ID Code:102958
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2015-09-12
Last Modified:2019-03-01

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