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Curr Biol. 2013 Jun 17;23(12):1094-100. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.072. Epub 2013 May 23.

Anthocyanins double the shelf life of tomatoes by delaying overripening and reducing susceptibility to gray mold.

Author information

1
John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7UH, UK.

Abstract

Shelf life is an important quality trait for many fruit, including tomatoes. We report that enrichment of anthocyanin, a natural pigment, in tomatoes can significantly extend shelf life. Processes late in ripening are suppressed by anthocyanin accumulation, and susceptibility to Botrytis cinerea, one of the most important postharvest pathogens, is reduced in purple tomato fruit. We show that reduced susceptibility to B. cinerea is dependent specifically on the accumulation of anthocyanins, which alter the spreading of the ROS burst during infection. The increased antioxidant capacity of purple fruit likely slows the processes of overripening. Enhancing the levels of natural antioxidants in tomato provides a novel strategy for extending shelf life by genetic engineering or conventional breeding.

PMID:
23707429
PMCID:
PMC3688073
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.072
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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