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Natural Variation in Banana Varieties Highlights the Role of Melatonin in Postharvest Ripening and Quality

Hu, Wei, Yang, Hai, Tie, Weiwei, Yan, Yan, Ding, Zehong, Liu, Yang, Wu, Chunlai, Wang, Jiashui, Reiter, Russel J., Tan, Dun-Xian, Shi, Haitao, Xu, Biyu, Jin, Zhiqiang
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2017 v.65 no.46 pp. 9987-9994
bananas, biological control, ethylene, ethylene production, melatonin, ripening, shelf life
This study aimed to investigate the role of melatonin in postharvest ripening and quality in various banana varieties with contrasting ripening periods. During the postharvest life, endogenous melatonin showed similar performance with ethylene in connection to ripening. In comparison to ethylene, melatonin was more correlated with postharvest banana ripening. Exogenous application of melatonin resulted in a delay of postharvest banana ripening. Moreover, this effect is concentration-dependent, with 200 and 500 μM treatments more effective than the 50 μM treatment. Exogenous melatonin also led to elevated endogenous melatonin content, reduced ethylene production through regulation of the expression of MaACO1 and MaACS1, and delayed sharp changes of quality indices. Taken together, this study highlights that melatonin is an indicator for banana fruit ripening in various varieties, and the repression of ethylene biosynthesis and postharvest ripening by melatonin can be used for biological control of postharvest fruit ripening and quality.