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Fruits of wild and semi‐domesticated Diospyros tree species have contrasting phenological, metabolic, and antioxidant activity profiles

Ramírez‐Briones, Ernesto, Rodríguez Macías, Ramón, Casarrubias Castillo, Kena, del Río, Rosa E, Martínez‐Gallardo, Norma, Tiessen, Axel, Ordaz‐Ortiz, José, Cervantes‐Hernández, Felipe, Délano‐Frier, John Paul, Zañudo‐Hernández, Julia
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2019 v.99 no.13 pp. 6020-6031
Diospyros digyna, acidity, antioxidant activity, antioxidants, breeding, climate, electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, flavonoids, fruit quality, fruits, genetic resources, habitats, metabolites, metabolomics, phenology, principal component analysis, soil quality, sugar content, trees, variance, winter
BACKGROUND: In contrast to commercial Diospyros species, Mesoamerican fruit‐producing species are scarcely known, particularly wild species that might harbor desirable traits suitable for breeding. Thus, metabolomic, chemical, and antioxidant profiles of fruits harvested from cultivated Diospyros digyna and wild Diospyros rekoi trees during consecutive winter seasons were obtained. Fruits were harvested in habitats having marked differences in soil quality, climate, and luminosity. RESULTS: D. digyna fruits were larger and less acid than D. rekoi fruits, whereas antioxidant activity tended to be higher in D. rekoi fruits. Phenolic, flavonoid, and sugar contents also varied significantly between species. Metabolomic analysis allowed the pre‐identification of 519 and 1665 metabolites in negative and positive electrospray ionization (ESI) modes, respectively. Principal component analysis of the positive ESI data explained 51.8% of the variance and indicated clear metabolomic differences between D. rekoi and D. digyna fruits that were confirmed by direct‐injection ESI mass spectrometry profiles. Twenty‐one discriminating metabolites were detected in fruits of both species; D. digyna fruits differentially accumulated lysophospholipids, whereas discriminating metabolites in D. rekoi fruits were chemically more diverse than those in D. digyna fruits. CONCLUSION: Domesticated D. digyna fruits have improved physicochemical fruit traits compared with wild D. rekoi fruits, including larger size and lower acidity. The metabolomic and chemical composition of their respective fruits were also significantly different, which in D. rekoi was manifested as a notable season‐dependent increase in antioxidant capacity. Therefore, wild D. rekoi can be considered as an important genetic resource for the improvement of commercial Diospyros fruit quality. © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry