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Evaluation of fruit quality and susceptibility to blue mold of nine Asian pear cultivars

Wayne M. Jurick II, Eunhee Park, Verneta L. Gaskins, Michael J. Newell, Julia M. Harshman, Christopher S. Walsh
Acta horticulturae 2015 no.1094 pp. 471-475
Agricultural Research Service, Penicillium expansum, cultivars, disease resistance, firmness, fruit quality, growers, host-pathogen relationships, malic acid, markets, molds (fungi), pears, plant pathogenic fungi, titratable acidity, total soluble solids, Maryland
Nine Asian pear cultivars (Atago, Hosui, Isiiwase, Kosui, Olympic, Shinko, Shinsui, Ya Li, and Yoinashi) were evaluated for quality (firmness, titratable acidity, and soluble solids) and susceptibility to the blue mold pathogen Penicillium expansum. Fruit were grown at the University of Maryland Extension Wye Research and Education Center in Queenstown, Maryland and transported to the USDA-ARS research facility in Beltsville, Maryland. Data from pears harvested in 2012 and 2013 were combined and mean values were calculated. Force required to puncture the epidermis varied from 11.3 N (Kosui) to 28.8 N (Olympic). Soluble solids ranged from 10.9 °Brix (Atago) to 15.9 °Brix (Shinsui), and titratable acidity from 0.09% malic acid equivalents (Kosui) to 0.18% malic acid equivalents (Hosui). All cultivars were susceptible to blue mold decay; mean lesion diameters ranged from 28.9 mm (Isiiwase) to 39.1 mm (Yoinashi) after 7 days storage at 25 °C. Variation in fruit quality and susceptibility to blue mold decay was observed among the nine cultivars. This information will help both small scale niche growers and commercial pear producers decide whether to immediately market or store fruit of specific Asian pear cultivars depending on their quality parameters and susceptibility to blue mold.