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Gamma irradiation‐induced disease resistance of pear (Pyrus pyrifolia “Niitaka”) against Penicillium expansum

Jeong, Rae‐Dong, Jeong, Mi‐Ae, Park, Mi‐Ri
Phytopathologische Zeitschrift 2017 v.165 no.9 pp. 626-633
Penicillium expansum, Pyrus pyrifolia, beta-glucanase, catechol oxidase, disease incidence, disease resistance, firmness, fruit quality, fruits, fungi, gamma radiation, genes, pears, peroxidase, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, postharvest diseases, scanning electron microscopy
In this study, the effects of gamma irradiation on the resistance of pear fruit against Penicillium expansum, the causal agent of blue mould disease, were investigated. A low dose of gamma irradiation for 14 days increased the disease resistance and firmness of pear fruits. Remarkably, exposure to 200 Gy of gamma irradiation significantly maintained fruit firmness, markedly reduced disease incidence and enhanced the activity of defence‐related enzymes (e.g., β‐1,3‐glucanase, phenylalanine ammonia lyase, peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase) and expression of pathogenesis‐related (PR) genes (e.g., PR‐1, PR‐3 and PR‐4). Therefore, the gamma irradiation‐induced resistance against P. expansum involves both metabolic changes and the induction of expression of defence‐related genes. In addition, scanning electron microscopic analysis revealed that gamma irradiation significantly inhibits the growth of P. expansum. These results suggest that exposure of mature harvested pear fruits to artificial gamma irradiation confers fungal disease resistance; therefore, gamma irradiation represents an important strategy for controlling postharvest diseases in pear fruit.