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Rapid and Visual Detection and Quantitation of Ethylene Released from Ripening Fruits: The New Use of Grubbs Catalyst

Sun, Mingtai, Yang, Xin, Zhang, Yuannian, Wang, Suhua, Wong, Ming Wah, Ni, Runyan, Huang, Dejian
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2018 v.67 no.1 pp. 507-513
air, analytical chemistry, catalysts, detection limit, ethylene, fluorescence, fluorescent dyes, food industry, moieties, monitoring, ripening
Herein, we report on fluorophore-tagged Grubbs catalysts as turn-on fluorescent probes for the sensitive detection and quantitation of ethylene, a plant hormone that plays a critical role in many phases of plant growth and fruit ripening. The ruthenium-based weak fluorescent probes were prepared handily through the metathesis reaction between the first-generation Grubbs catalyst and selected fluorophores that have high quantum yields and contain terminal vinyl groups. Upon exposure to ethylene, fluorescence enhancement was observed via the release of fluorophore from the probe. Our probe shows an excellent limit of detection for ethylene at 0.9 ppm in air and was successfully applied for monitoring ethylene released during the fruit-ripening process. Our work opens up a new avenue of application of Grubbs catalysts for bioanalytical chemistry of ethylene, which is critically important in plant biology, agriculture, and food industry.