Michigan is poised to have another bumper crop of apples. Randy Beaudry, MSU horticulturist, is available to discuss the complete forecast as well as ways that Michigan growers can help maximize their profits during this bountiful season.
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MSU receives $3.2 million grant to fund research on stevia plants
The State News online
Warner’s team consists of 10 investigators from four universities. Collaborators at MSU include Sungeun Cho, assistant professor for the department of food science and human nutrition; Bridget Behe, professor at the department of horticulture; Randy Beaudry professor at the department of horticulture; and Kevin Childs assistant at the department of plant biology. [...]
MSU Lands $3.2m Grant to Improve Stevia Taste, U.S. Production
MSU Today online
Additional MSU scientists working on the project include Kevin Childs, Randy Beaudry, Sungeun Cho and Bridget Behe. Researchers at North Carolina State University, Alabama A&M University and Fort Valley State University also are part of the study. [...]
Honeycrisp sports race toward red
Good Fruit Grower online
That earlier harvesting is better for storage, said Randy Beaudry, Ph.D., a professor at Michigan State University’s Department of Horticulture. “Sometimes we have to wait just a little too long for that color development to take place, so even though I think of Honeycrisp as a bicolor apple, the redder fruits let us get it off the tree in better shape.” [...]
Safeguarding Honeycrisp from storage disorders
Good Fruit Grower online
“He had never seen anything like it before,” recalled Randolph “Randy” Beaudry, the professor in the Michigan State University Department of Horticulture who received the call. [...]
Apple storage advice for 2016 - a warm year at harvest
MSU Extension online
Fruit are ripening ahead of normal harvest dates this year in all regions following this warm summer. My recommendation is to push through harvest to the extent possible, as weather is likely to deteriorate soon. One important consideration is the temperature of the fruit going into controlled atmosphere (CA) storage. Gala and other fruit harvested in the early days of fall are now going in warm, so extra attention needs to be paid to temperature monitoring. [...]
Journal Articles (5)
Randy Beaudry et al.
The availability and cost of agricultural labor is constraining the specialty crop industry throughout the United States. Most soft fruits destined for the fresh market are fragile and are usually hand harvested to maintain optimal quality and postharvest longevity. However, because of labor shortages, machine harvest options are being explored out of necessity. A survey on machine harvest of blueberries (Vaccinium sp.) for fresh market was conducted in 2015 and 2016 in seven U.S. states and one Canadian province. Survey respondents totaled 223 blueberry producers of various production sizes and scope. A majority (61%) indicated that their berries were destined for fresh markets with 33% machine harvested for this purpose. Eighty percent said that they thought fruit quality was the limiting factor for machine-harvested blueberries destined for fresh markets. Many producers had used mechanized harvesters, but their experience varied greatly. Just less than half (47%) used mechanical harvesters for fewer than 5 years. Most respondents indicated that labor was a primary concern, as well as competing markets and weather. New technologies that reduce harvesting constraints, such as improvements to harvest machinery and packing lines, were of interest to most respondents. Forty-five percent stated they would be interested in using a modified harvest-aid platform with handheld shaking devices if it is viable (i.e., fruit quality and picking efficiency is maintained and the practice is cost effective). Overall, the survey showed that blueberry producers have great concerns with labor costs and availability and are open to exploring mechanization as a way to mitigate the need for hand-harvest labor.
Randy Beaudry et al.
‘Honeycrisp’ apples were found to be sensitive to injury from O2 and CO2 partial pressures typical of those in controlled-atmosphere (CA) storage. A preliminary study was conducted in 2008 to investigate the effect of the following O2/CO2 partial pressure (kPa) combinations: 1/0, 3/0, 1/3, 3/3, 21/3, 21/0 (air), and 21/0 with 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP; 1 μL·L−1) on CA-related injuries of 'Honeycrisp' during storage for 6 months at 3 °C. ‘Honeycrisp’ apples were found to be sensitive to an injury comprised of irregular-edged brown lesions in the cortex occasionally accompanied by the formation of lens-shaped voids. The symptoms are similar to CA-related injuries described for other apple cultivars and often characterized as a “CO2 injury.” Injury severity increased as O2 declined and as CO2 increased and was evident within the first month of storage. During 2009, 2010, and 2011, a study was conducted to evaluate options for avoiding injury during CA storage for this cultivar. Fruit were conditioned at 3, 10, and 20 °C for 5 days and then exposed to the following O2/CO2 partial pressure combinations: 3/0, 3/3, 21/0 (regular air); 3/3 with diphenylamine (DPA) drench (1 g·L−1); and 21/0 with 1-MCP (1 μL·L−1). Injury severity declined as the temperature of the prestorage conditioning period increased; holding fruit for 5 days at 20 °C almost completely eliminated the disorder. The antioxidant DPA also provided nearly complete control of CA injury. 1-MCP, although not studied in conjunction with a modified atmosphere, was found to cause no injury in air storage and may provide an alternative to CA storage and avoid the risk of CA injury for ’Honeycrisp’. The relationship between disorder development and growing degree-days, rainfall, and maturity indexes was studied. Ethylene was the only factor with a significant linkage to the development of CA injury (R2 = 0.35; P = 0.0043). Suggestions for handling of ‘Honeycrisp’ for extended storage are presented.
Randy Beaudry et al.
Ethylene is a key factor regulating sex expression in cucurbits. Commercial melons (Cucumis melo L.) are typically andromonoecious, producing male and bisexual flowers. Our prior greenhouse studies of transgenic melon plants expressing the dominant negative ethylene perception mutant gene, etr1-1, under control of the carpel- and nectary-primordia targeted CRAB’S CLAW (CRC) promoter showed increased number and earlier appearance of carpel-bearing flowers. To further investigate this phenomenon which could be potentially useful for earlier fruit production, we observed CRC::etr1-1 plants in the field for sex expression, fruit set, fruit development, and ripening. CRC::etr1-1 melon plants showed increased number of carpel-bearing open flowers on the main stem and earlier onset by 7–10 nodes. Additional phenotypes observed in the greenhouse and field were conversion of approximately 50 % of bisexual buds to female, and elongated ovaries and fruits. Earlier and greater fruit set occurred on the transgenic plants. However, CRC::etr1-1 plants had greater abscission of young fruit, and smaller fruit, so that final yield (kg/plot) was equivalent to wild type. Earlier fruit set in line M5 was accompanied by earlier appearance of ripe fruit. Fruit from line M15 frequently did not exhibit external ripening processes of rind color change and abscission, but when cut open, the majority showed a ripe or overripe interior accompanied by elevated internal ethylene. The non-ripening external phenotype in M15 fruit corresponded with elevated etr1-1 transgene expression in the exocarp. These results provide insight into the role of ethylene perception in carpel-bearing flower production, fruit set, and ripening.
Randy Beaudry et al.
Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) is commonly stored in outdoor piles prior to processing for food and animal feed. While in storage the crop is subject to multiple post-harvest rots. In the Michigan growing region, little loss due to storage rots is observed until beets have been in storage for several months. A recommendation to screen for resistance when beets had been stored for between 80 and 120 days was published 1970s, but there was little information about why this was recommended. Using USDA germplasm and recombinant inbred lines (RILs) of sugar beet, materials were screened for their response to some fungal storage rots and for changes in response with varying length of storage. Significant differences (P
Randy Beaudry et al
Anthocyanins are flavonoid pigments imparting red, blue, or purple pigmentation to fruits, flowers and foliage. These compounds are powerful antioxidants in vitro, and are widely believed to contribute to human health. The fruit of the domestic apple (Malus x domestica) is a popular and important source of nutrients, and is considered one of the top ‘functional foods’—those foods that have inherent health-promoting benefits beyond basic nutritional value. The pigmentation of typical red apple fruits results from accumulation of anthocyanin in the skin. However, numerous genotypes of Malus are known that synthesize anthocyanin in additional fruit tissues including the core and cortex (flesh). Red-fleshed apple genotypes are an attractive starting point for development of novel varieties for consumption and nutraceutical use through traditional breeding and biotechnology. However, cultivar development is limited by lack of characterization of the diversity of genetic backgrounds showing this trait. We identified and cataloged red-fleshed apple genotypes from four Malus diversity collections representing over 3,000 accessions including domestic cultivars, wild species, and named hybrids. We found a striking range of flesh color intensity and pattern among accessions, including those carrying the MYB10 R 6 allele conferring ectopic expression of a key transcriptional regulator of anthocyanin biosynthesis. Although MYB10 R 6 was strongly associated with red-fleshed fruit among genotypes, this allele was neither sufficient nor required for this trait in all genotypes. Nearly all red-fleshed accessions tested could be traced back to ‘Niedzwetzkyana’, a presumed natural form of M. sieversii native to central Asia.