To compare the effects of growth regulators on preharvest fruit drop and fruit maturity, aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) was applied to 'McIntosh' apple trees at 75, 150, or 225 mg·L-1, at 8, 4, or 2 weeks before harvest (WBH). These treatments were compared to NAA, daminozide, and to an untreated control. All AVG treatments and timings except 75 mg·L -1 applied 8 WBH delayed preharvest drop and fruit maturity. AVG applied at 225 mg·L-1 was more effective in delaying drop and development of maturity than other rates when applied 8 or 2 WBH, but at 4 WBH, 150 mg·L-1 gave equivalent results to 225 mg·L -1. AVG at 150 mg·L-1 was superior to NAA or daminozide as a stop-drop agent. No concentration, or time of application of AVG influenced fruit size at harvest. AVG reduced internal ethylene concentration (IEC) in 'McIntosh' apples linearly with increasing AVG concentration. There was a linear relationship between time of AVG application (8, 4, or 2 WBH) and IEC in the fruit after harvest, and the time required for harvested fruit to enter the ethylene climacteric. Development of red color was delayed by AVG. This was attributed to a delay in ripening as determined by a slower increase in IEC and starch hydrolysis. In general, earlier application of AVG resulted in reduced effectiveness of lowering IEC following harvest. Chemical names used: aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG), naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA), succinic acid-2,2-dimethylhydrazide (daminozide).
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