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New insights on the ripening pattern of ‘Blanquilla’ pears: A comparison between on- and off-tree ripened fruit

Lindo-García, Violeta, Larrigaudière, Christian, Echeverría, Gemma, Murayama, Hideki, Soria, Yolanda, Giné-Bordonaba, Jordi
Postharvest biology and technology 2019 v.150 pp. 112-121
1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase, aminocyclopropanecarboxylate oxidase, enzyme activity, ethylene, ethylene production, firmness, fruits, malondialdehyde, metabolism, oxidative stress, pears, ripening, sucrose, volatile compounds
To better understand the key processes involved in the ripening of attached fruit, we have investigated physico-chemical and biochemical changes occurring in ‘Blanquilla’ pear during on-tree (attached fruit) and off-tree ripening (harvested fruit). Flesh firmness, sugars, acids and the volatile profiles as well as ethylene metabolism, PG and PME enzyme activities and oxidative damage were measured. Firmness loss in detached ‘Blanquilla’ pear (off-tree), was initially mediated by oxidative stress (higher accumulation of malondialdehyde) and then by ethylene in a process in which 1-aminocyclopropene 1-carboxylic acid (ACC) synthase was the limiting factor. In contrast the progressive but slower softening observed during on-tree fruit ripening was not associated to oxidative damage but rather to a delayed production of ethylene limited, in turn, by the activity of ACC oxidase. An interesting association was found between the initiation of the ethylene production and a concomitant increase of sucrose levels during on-tree ripening also accompanied by a decline in hexanal. The putative role of these compounds as a tree-associated factor modulating on-tree pear ripening is discussed.