Main content area

Hot air treatment reduces postharvest decay and delays softening of cherry tomato by regulating gene expression and activities of cell wall‐degrading enzymes

Wei, Yingying, Zhou, Dandan, Wang, Zhenjie, Tu, Sicong, Shao, Xingfeng, Peng, Jing, Pan, Leiqing, Tu, Kang
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2018 v.98 no.6 pp. 2105-2112
air, beta-galactosidase, cell respiration, cell walls, cellulose, cherry tomatoes, chilling injury, endo-1,4-beta-glucanase, enzyme activity, ethylene production, firmness, fruit quality, gene expression, pathogens, pectinesterase, pectins, polygalacturonase, postharvest diseases, shelf life, solubilization, storage temperature
BACKGROUND: Fruit softening facilitates pathogen infection and postharvest decay, leading to the reduction of shelf‐life. Hot air (HA) treatment at 38 °C for 12 h is effective in reducing postharvest disease and chilling injury of tomato fruit. To explore the effect and mechanism of HA treatment on reducing postharvest decay and softening of cherry tomato, fruit at the mature green stage were treated with HA and then stored at 20 °C for 15 days. Changes in natural decay incidence, firmness, cell wall compositions, activities and gene expression of cell wall‐degrading enzymes of cherry tomatoes were assessed. RESULTS: HA treatment reduced natural decay incidence, postponed the firmness decline, inhibited the respiration rate and ethylene production, and retarded pectin solubilisation and cellulose degradation of cherry tomatoes. Enzymatic activities and gene expression of pectin methylesterase, polygalacturonase, cellulase and β‐galactosidase were inhibited by HA treatment. In addition, the gene expression of LeEXP1 was reduced, while LeEXT was up‐regulated after HA treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggested that HA treatment could inhibit cell wall degradation and postpone softening of cherry tomatoes by regulating gene expression and activities of cell wall‐degrading enzymes, resulting in the reduction of postharvest decay. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry