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Infiltration of Tomatoes Immersed at Different Temperatures to Different Depths in Suspensions of Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora. Jerry A. Bartz, Associate Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611. Plant Dis. 66:302-306. Accepted for publication 23 June 1981. Copyright 1982 American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-66-302.

In tests with freshly destemmed tomatoes, infiltration did not occur as soon as fruits were immersed in suspensions of Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora unless depths equaled or exceeded 122 cm (4 ft). The barrier to immediate infiltration at shallower depths was the hydrophobic nature of the stem scar tissues, a conclusion derived from two observations. First, drops of an oil-based fruit wax were quickly absorbed by the stem scar tissues, whereas water had to be forced into those tissues. Second, addition of surfactants to suspensions of E. carotovora subsp. carotovora increased the amount of infiltration twofold to threefold and decreased the time between immersion and onset of infiltration.

Keyword(s): Lycopersicon esculentum, postharvest decay.