Melatonin stimulates postharvest ripening of apples by up-regulating gene expression of ethylene synthesis enzymes
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/3972
UNESCO SUBJECT: 2417.19 Fisiología Vegetal
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
Melatonin has been implicated in the regulation of ripening in several types of climacteric fruits, but its role in apple is poorly understood. In this study, the effectiveness of melatonin in influencing postharvest ripening in apples and interacting with ethylene biosynthesis process was investigated. Apples of four local cultivars (Golden, Reineta, Blanquina and Rabiosa) were harvest at an immature green stage and immersed for 120 min in a solution with water (control), melatonin 50 μM, ACC 1 mM, and melatonin 50 μM + ACC 1 mM. The evolution of apple quality parameters and ethylene production was assessed in all cultivars for 35 days after treatment. In addition, Golden apple was used to examine the transcript abundance of ethylene biosynthesis enzymes genes in the skin and flesh. Exogenous melatonin improved apple quality during postharvest ripening and stimulated ethylene production in all cultivars studied, advancing the timing of the climacteric burst. Melatonin-induced changes in ethylene production correlated well with changes in fruit quality and were in part similar to those induced by the ethylene precursor ACC, so ethylene appears to be a target of melatonin. In Golden apple, melatonin stimulated the expression of MdACS1 and MdACO1 genes, which showed a climacteric profile similar to that of ethylene. The transcriptional effects of exogenous melatonin on ethylene-related genes was also more notable in the skin than in the flesh, suggesting an initiating role of the former in the biosynthesis of the phytohormone. Taken together, the results point to the fact that exogenous melatonin may be useful in improving apple quality during postharvest ripening by promoting colour and flavour change and extending fruit firmness. The effect of melatonin appears to be mediated in part by up-regulation of the transcriptional activity of the MdACS1 and MdACO1 genes during the climacteric peak, thus contributing to an increase in ethylene availability.
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- 2023. Verde et al. Melatonin ...