Effect of Shading on Red Colour and Fruit Quality in Blush Pears "ANP-0118" and "ANP-0131"

Plants (Basel). 2020 Feb 6;9(2):206. doi: 10.3390/plants9020206.


Some cultivars of Pyrus communis develop mature fruit with a distinctive red blush. Investigating the patterns of pear colour development in response to sunlight has implications for orchard management of these pears. The objectives of these experiments are to study the seasonal patterns of colour development and investigate the influence of shade and sunlight exposure on the red colour and harvest quality of blush pears "ANP-0118" and "ANP-0131". Several long, medium and short shading treatments were applied at different stages of fruit development from 28 ("ANP-0131") and 29 ("ANP-0118") days after full bloom (DAFB) until harvests at 119 DAFB ("ANP-0118") and 175 DAFB ("ANP-0131"). Fruits were measured every three weeks for colour parameters (a*, hue angle, chroma) and at harvest for quality parameters (fresh weight, visual assessments of percentage blush coverage and blush intensity, flesh firmness and soluble solids concentration). In the unshaded control, red colour increased during the growing season (increase in a* value and decrease in hue angle), as well as increasing in chroma value. Periods of shading during the season negatively affected red colour in both cultivars, as evidenced by significant decreases in a* value and increases in hue angle. Shaded fruits that were subsequently re-exposed to sunlight reacted with a dynamic increase in a* value and decrease in hue angle. Fruit shaded for the length of the experiment or prior to harvest had significantly lower a* values than the control at harvest. Visual assessment at harvest of percentage blush coverage and blush intensity were significantly affected by shading in both cultivars. Shading treatments applied early in the experiment had a negative effect on the fresh fruit weight of "ANP-0118".

Keywords: Pyrus communis; anthocyanins; firmness; soluble solids concentration; spectrophotometer; sunlight.