Role of melatonin in apple fruit during growth and ripening: possible interaction with ethylene
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/3246
EDITED VERSION: https://www.mdpi.com/2223-7747/11/5/688
UNESCO SUBJECT: 2417.19 Fisiología Vegetal ; 2417.15 Desarrollo Vegetal ; 2417.92 Fisiología de la Maduración
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
The role of melatonin during the growth and ripening of apple fruit was studied using local varieties. The evolution of the growth and ripening parameters, including fruit size and weight, firmness, color change, sugar content, and ethylene production, was different in the five varieties studied, with yellow apples (Reineta and Golden) initiating the ripening process earlier than reddish ones (Teórica, Sanroqueña, and Caguleira). Changes in the melatonin and melatonin isomer 2 contents during growth and ripening were studied in Golden apples, as was the effect of the melatonin treatment (500 µM, day 124 post-anthesis) on the apple tree. Melatonin content varied greatly, with higher value in the skin than in the flesh. In the skin, melatonin increased at day 132 post-anthesis, when ethylene synthesis started. In the flesh, melatonin levels were high at the beginning of the growth phase and at the end of ripening. Melatonin isomer 2 was also higher once the ripening started and when ethylene began to increase. The melatonin treatment significantly advanced the ethylene production and increased the fruit size, weight, sugar content, and firmness. The data suggest that melatonin stimulates fruit ripening through the induction of ethylene synthesis, while melatonin treatments before ripening improve the final fruit quality.
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