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Abscisic acid stimulates anthocyanin accumulation in ‘Jersey’ highbush blueberry fruits during ripening

Oh, Hee Duk, Yu, Duk Jun, Chung, Sun Woo, Chea, Sinath, Lee, Hee Jae
Food chemistry 2018 v.244 pp. 403-407
Vaccinium corymbosum, abscisic acid, antioxidants, blueberries, color, delphinidin, fruit quality, fruits, malvidin, petunidin, ripening, shelf life, shrubs
Non-climacteric blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) fruits accumulate high levels of anthocyanins during ripening, which are a good source of dietary antioxidants. This study examined the effects of exogenous abscisic acid (ABA) application on fruit characteristics and anthocyanin accumulation in a northern highbush blueberry (V. corymbosum ‘Jersey’) during development. Fruits on shrubs were treated with 1gL−1 ABA before the initiation of fruit colouration. Application of ABA temporarily increased the level of ABA in the fruits during development. Exogenous ABA had no obvious effect on fruit growth, but stimulated fruit colouration by accelerating the accumulation of individual anthocyanins, mainly malvidin, delphinidin and petunidin glycosides. This is the first report to show that ABA promotes the accumulation of anthocyanins in blueberry fruits. However, exogenous ABA also promoted fruit softening, which is undesirable during harvest and shelf life.