Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Dar) leaves exposed to UV-B irradiation at a biologically effective dose of 9.5 kJ m-2d-1 showed decreased chlorophyll fluorescence parameter values versus the control; in peppermint (Mentha piperita L. cv. Asia) leaves those values were almost unchanged after treatment. Fv/Fo and Rfd were reduced more than other values, indicating inhibition of the oxygen-evolving complex and cooperation between the light and dark photosynthesis reactions as the primary targets of UV-B. The photosynthetic electron transport rate showed less change directly after irradiation, but after 24 h of recovery it was reduced to 50% of the control. Generally, photosystem II of peppermint leaves appeared more tolerant to the applied UV-B radiation than in cucumber leaves.
Monitoring of the mechanical properties of fruit obtained from cucumber plants is extremely important because of their use in processing, since these properties are reflected by the finished products of processing. Mechanical defects produced at the time of harvesting, during transport and at the specific stages of processing may adversely affect the course of technological processing (brine and vinegar pickling), resulting in spoilt preserves no longer useful for commercial purposes. The study was designed to identify selected mechanical properties in fresh and pickled fruit obtained from field cucumbers during spontaneous fermentation and fermentation promoted by selected lactic bacteria cultures. Additionally, water contents were measured in fresh cucumbers. The findings show significant differences between the analysed parameters.
This work was carried out during two successive seasons (2016 and 2017) on cucumber fruits from a plastic greenhouse and from open field cultivation in El Gharbeia and El Giza Governorates, Egypt. Isolation trials from spoilage fruit samples of plastic greenhouse cultivation recorded high frequency of Alternaria tenusinium, Fusarium spp. and Pleospora alli. The most common fungi of rotten cucumber fruits from an open field were Galactomyces spp. and Fusarium spp. Pathogenicity tests proved that, Fusarium solani from El-Gharbeia followed by A. tenusinium from El-Giza were the most frequent isolates responsible for rot of cucumber fruits from plastic greenhouse cultivation. Moreover, the most frequent isolates causing postharvest disease of cucumber fruits of the open field were Galactomyces candidium from El-Giza followed by Geotrichum sp. and F. fujikuroi from El-Gharbeia Governorates, respectively. This is the first report of several fungi causing postharvest fruit rot disease of cucumber i.e., G. candidium, Geotrichum sp., A. tenusinium, P. alli and Fusarium spp. (F. fujikuroi, F. verticiolides, F. solani, F. geraminearium and Fusarium incarnatum). Fungal isolates were identified according to cultural, morphological and molecular characterization based on sequencing of internal transcribed spacer1 (ITS1). All the ITS nucleotide sequences of fungi were applied and conserved in GenBank.
This study examined the effects of UV-B radiation and allelochemical stress induced by ferulic acid (FA) on the activity of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL; EC 220.127.116.11) at metabolic and molecular levels in two cucumber genotypes differing in tolerance to cold and disease, in order to determine any interaction between stress effects and genotype response. Stresses were applied simultaneously, sequentially, and singly. In both genotypes, several days of UV radiation retarded growth up to 36%. The effect of FA was not significant. The response to a particular stress, including the effect on PAL activation, was enhanced by simultaneous application of the two stresses. PAL transcription was not correlated with the increase of PAL activity. Exposure to UV-B, FA, and combined UV-B and FA was detrimental to both genotypes but to different extents. The response was not correlated with the genotype of cold and disease sensitivity. PAL activity and its transcription seem to be involved in UV and allelochemical stress, but not related to the plants' tolerance of these stresses.