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Does salinity modify anatomy and biochemistry of Olea europaea L. fruit during ripening?

Moretti, Samuele, Francini, Alessandra, Minnocci, Antonio, Sebastiani, Luca
Scientia horticulturae 2018 v.228 pp. 33-40
2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, Olea europaea, abiotic stress, aerial parts, biochemistry, fruit yield, genotype, mesocarp, olives, physiology, ripening, salinity, sodium, sodium chloride
The effect of salinity on physiology of olive (Olea europaea L.) fruits was studied using a salt-sensitive genotype (Leccino cv.) able to translocate sodium to the aerial part. Plants were treated with 0 and 60mM NaCl for 49days starting from the beginning of pit hardening to veraison. The effects of salt exposure were studied classifying olive in two Maturation Groups: MG1 olives from green skin to <50% purple skin; MG2 olives with purple skin ≥50%.Plants treated with NaCl present a significant reduction of shoot elongation after 35, 42 and 49days of salt treatment (15%, 18% and 24%, respectively). Na accumulation occurs in fruit flesh depending on the MG: 559mgkg−1 in MG1 and 397mgkg−1 in MG2. In general, NaCl does not negatively affect fruit yield parameters while induce an increment of total phenols (58%) and DPPH scavenging activity (15%) in MG1 in comparison with control. Cryo-SEM observations of freeze-fractured fruits revealed that salt treatment induce an increment of cells area and a thickening of cuticle, epidermis, hypodermis and outer mesocarp, that could be considered useful to protect fruits against other biotic and abiotic stress.