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Dynamics of acetaldehyde production during anoxia and post-anoxia in red bell pepper studied by photoacoustic techniques

Zuckerman, H., Harren, F.J.M., Reuss, J., Parker, D.H.
Plant physiology 1997 v.113 no.3 pp. 925-932
Capsicum annuum, oxygen, dose response, hypoxia, acetaldehyde, ethanol, fermentation, catalase, enzyme activity, carbon dioxide, biosynthesis, measurement, tricarboxylic acid cycle, volatile compounds, acoustic properties, stress response
Acetaldehyde (AA), ethanol, and CO2 production in red bell pepper (Capsicum annum L.) fruit has been measured in a continuous flow system as the fruit was switched between 20% O2 and anaerobic conditions. Minimum gas phase concentrations of 0.5 nL L-1, 10 nL L-1, and 1 mL L-1, respectively, can be detected employing a laser-based photoacoustic technique. This technique allows monitoring of low production rates and transient features in real time. At the start of anaerobic treatment respiration decreases by 60% within 0.5 h, whereas AA and ethanol production is delayed by 1 to 3 h. This suggests a direct slow-down of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and a delayed onset of alcoholic fermentation. Reexposure of the fruit to oxygen results in a 2- to 10-fold upsurge in AA production. A short anoxic period leads to a sharp transient peak lasting about 40 min, whereas after numerous and longer anoxic periods, post-anoxic AA production stays high for several hours. High sensitivity of the fruit tissue to oxygen is further evidenced by a sharp decrease in post-anoxic AA production upon an early return to anaerobic conditions. Ethanol oxidation by the "peroxidatic" action of catalase is proposed to account for the immediate postanoxic AA upsurge.