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Calcium chloride treatment modifies cell wall metabolism and activates defense responses in strawberry fruit (Fragaria × ananassa, Duch)

Langer, Silvia E, Marina, María, Burgos, José L, Martínez, Gustavo A, Civello, Pedro M, Villarreal, Natalia M
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2019 v.99 no.8 pp. 4003-4010
Botrytis cinerea, Fragaria ananassa, beta-galactosidase, beta-glucanase, calcium, calcium chloride, cell walls, chitinase, disease resistance, enzyme activity, firmness, fruits, fungi, gene expression regulation, genes, ions, metabolism, pathogens, pectinesterase, pectins, peroxidases, polygalacturonase, polyphenols, strawberries
BACKGROUND: Fruit dips in calcium ions solutions have been shown as an effective treatment to extend strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa, Duch) quality during storage. In the present work, strawberry fruit were treated with 10 g L⁻¹ calcium chloride solution and treatment effects on cell wall enzymes activities and the expression of encoding genes, as well as enzymes involved in fruit defense responses were investigated. RESULTS: Calcium treatment enhanced pectin methylesterase activity while inhibited those corresponding to pectin hydrolases as polygalacturonase and β‐galactosidase. The expression of key genes for strawberry pectin metabolism was up‐regulated (for FaPME1) and down‐regulated (for FaPG1, FaPLB, FaPLC, FaβGal1 and FaAra1) by calcium dips. In agreement, a higher firmness level and ionically‐bound pectins (IBPs) amount were detected in calcium‐treated fruit compared with controls. The in vitro and in vivo growth rate of fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea was limited by calcium treatment. Moreover, the activities of polyphenol oxidases, chitinases, peroxidases and β‐1,3‐glucanases were enhanced by calcium ion dips. CONCLUSION: News insights concerning the biochemical and molecular basis of cell wall preservation and resistance to fungal pathogens on calcium‐treated strawberries are provided. © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry