- This study was to determine whether postharvest hydrogen sulfide (H2S) fumigation effected surface pitting development of 'Lapins' and 'Regina' cherries after cold storage, and if so, how it minimizes surface pitting injury and its relation to cell wall metabolism. Fruit were exposed to H2S gas released from an aqueous solution of sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS) at rates of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 mM, then stored at 0 degrees C for 4 weeks. Fruit of both cultivars treated with 1 or 2 mM NaHS had a greater firmness and a lower respiration rate compared to control fruit. However, no treatments retarded losses in soluble solids content (SSC) and titratable acidity (TA). Fruit fumigated with H2S displayed significantly suppressed stem browning, decay, and pitting incidences, but not weight loss. The positive effect of H2S on reduced pitting might be due to the lower yields of water-soluble polysaccharides (WSP) and CDTA-soluble polysaccharides (CSP) or/and due to the lower activities of polygalacturonase (PG), pectate lyase (PL), and beta-D-galactosidase (beta-GAL). Overall, results demonstrated that H2S applied to sweet cherry as a postharvest vapor has ability to control surface pitting development by stabilizing cell wall structure and regulating cell wall catabolism.