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Role of ethylene and abscisic acid in physicochemical modifications during melon ripening

Martinez-Madrid, M.C., Martinez, G., Pretel, M.T., Serrano, M., Romojaro, F.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 1999 v.47 no.12 pp. 5285-5290
1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid, Cucumis melo, ripening, abscisic acid, biosynthesis, ethylene, ethylene production, color, oxygenases, lyases, enzyme activity, cultivars, crop quality, titratable acidity, brix, flavor, odors, melons, chemical constituents of plants, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase, aminocyclopropanecarboxylate oxidase, biomass production
Hormonal metabolism associated with fruit ripening in two cantaloupe muskmelon cultivars, Talma and Manta, has been studied. The ethylene crisis began on day 33 after fruit set, reaching the maximum values of internal ethylene concentration and ethylene production rate on day 35 after fruit set. This was the optimum moment for consumption as shown by the higher content in soluble solids, ripening index, sensory analysis, and color parameter values. The b parameter and the b/a quotient values in peel were good indicators of the maturity stage, the optimum moment for harvesting being about day 33 after fruit set (when autocatalytic ethylene synthesis has begun), with values of 20 and 5 for the b parameter and b/a quotient, respectively. In both cultivars, free 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) content increased until day 35 after fruit set and conjugated ACC increased in postclimacterium. The increase in both ACC-synthase and ACC-oxidase activities together could be responsible for the climacteric ethylene production. Significant differences in the abscisic acid evolution in Talma and Manta cultivars were reached, and also a possible stimulation of ethylene by this hormone could be established.