Effect of abscisic acid and methyl jasmonate preharvest applications on fruit quality and cracking tolerance of sweet cherry

Cristian Balbontín1*, Camilo Gutiérrez2, Michael Wolff1, and Carlos R. Figueroa3
Rain-induced cherry fruit cracking is one of the most important problems in the cherry industry, and its occurrence causes significant economic losses. Sweet cherry (Prunus avium [L.] L.) is a non-climacteric fruit affected by both abscisic acid (ABA) and methyl jasmonate (MeJA) during development. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of these phytohormones on cracking susceptibility and quality parameters of sweet cherry fruit (‘Bing’), located in the central region of Chile. During two seasons, independent pre-harvest applications of ABA (0.1 mM) and MeJA (0.4 mM) or both combined, at fruit developmental stages of fruit set or fruit color change, significantly reduced the number of mature cracked fruit after 6 h of immersion in water (p < 0.05). In both seasons the combinations of ABA and MeJA applied at fruit set reducing cracking index in an 87% compared to the control without compromising the weight or the diameter of the fruits. Moreover, in the second season ABA and MeJA applications at fruit set increased fruit firmness (11% and 6% respectively) and fruit color parameters regardless of the fruit stage at application, although slight decreases in soluble solids content were observed in most of the treatments.
Keywords: Abscisic acid, fruit cracking, methyl jasmonate, Prunus avium, sweet cherry.
1Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, INIA Quilamapu. Av. Vicente Méndez 515, Chillán, Chile.
*Corresponding author (cabalbo@gmail.com).
2Universidad del Bío-Bío, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud y de los Alimentos, Av. Andrés Bello 720. Chillán, Chile.
3Universidad de Talca, Instituto de Ciencias Biológicas, Av. Lircay s/n, Talca 3465548, Chile.