Main content area

Exogenous melatonin delays postharvest fruit senescence and maintains the quality of sweet cherries

Wang, Feng, Zhang, Xiaoping, Yang, Qingzhen, Zhao, Qifeng
Food chemistry 2019 pp. 125311
Prunus avium, antioxidant activity, ascorbic acid, catalase, cell respiration, enzyme activity, firmness, fruit quality, fruits, glutathione, hydrogen peroxide, malondialdehyde, melatonin, membrane permeability, superoxide anion, superoxide dismutase, titratable acidity, total soluble solids, weight loss
We assessed the effects of postharvest exogenous melatonin (50,100 and 150 µmol L-1) on the senescence and quality of sweet cherries during storage at 0 ± 0.5 ℃. Melatonin treatment decreased decay incidence, respiration rate, and weight loss. It delayed the degradation of firmness, lightness, saturation, hue angle, titratable acidity, and total soluble solids content, thus maintaining better fruit quality. Melatonin treatment inhibited increases in O2·−, H2O2, malondialdehyde content, and relative membrane permeability, while maintaining higher endogenous melatonin levels and increasing superoxide dismutase and catalase activity. Additionally, melatonin treatment enhanced the activity of antioxidant enzymes, increased the levels of ascorbic acid, and reduced glutathione levels, which are related to the ascorbate–glutathione cycle, as well as increasing the AsA:DHA and GSH:GSSG ratios. Delayed senescence in sweet cherries after exogenous melatonin treatment may be associated with high endogenous melatonin levels and increased antioxidant activity and content.