BACKGROUND: We investigated the effects of the foliar and fruit application of sodium selenate on selenium (Se) accumulation, fruit growth and ripening in peach and pear. Trials were conducted in two growing seasons. In 2008 selenate was applied at a rate of 0.1 and 1.0 mg Se L−1 to the leaves of peach. In 2009 selenate was applied at a rate of 1 mg Se L−1 via foliar (LT) or fruit (FT) application to peach and pear.
RESULTS: The foliar addition of selenate to peach resulted in an increase in Se concentration both in leaves and fruit. The higher Se content in fruit resulted in an increase in flesh firmness and a decrease in soluble solid content. LT significantly increased the Se content in the leaves and fruit of peach and pear, and leaves showed the highest Se concentrations. FT increased the fruit Se concentration in both crops, and it was more effective than LT in increasing Se content. After storage, flesh firmness decreased in all treatments, but it was significantly higher in FT compared to LT and control samples.
CONCLUSION: Foliar and fruit selenium spraying appeared effective in increasing the Se content of fruit in peach and pear. The enhanced Se concentration affected the shelf life of fruit, delaying the reduction in flesh firmness and fruit ripening, thus positively affecting fruit storage. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry