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Front Plant Sci. 2016 May 4;7:602. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00602. eCollection 2016.

Implication of Abscisic Acid on Ripening and Quality in Sweet Cherries: Differential Effects during Pre- and Post-harvest.

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1
Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

Sweet cherry, a non-climacteric fruit, is usually cold-stored during post-harvest to prevent over-ripening. The aim of the study was to evaluate the role of abscisic acid (ABA) on fruit growth and ripening of this fruit, considering as well its putative implication in over-ripening and effects on quality. We measured the endogenous concentrations of ABA during the ripening of sweet cherries (Prunus avium L. var. Prime Giant) collected from orchard trees and in cherries exposed to 4°C and 23°C during 10 days of post-harvest. Furthermore, we examined to what extent endogenous ABA concentrations were related to quality parameters, such as fruit biomass, anthocyanin accumulation and levels of vitamins C and E. Endogenous concentrations of ABA in fruits increased progressively during fruit growth and ripening on the tree, to decrease later during post-harvest at 23°C. Cold treatment, however, increased ABA levels and led to an inhibition of over-ripening. Furthermore, ABA levels positively correlated with anthocyanin and vitamin E levels during pre-harvest, but not during post-harvest. We conclude that ABA plays a major role in sweet cherry development, stimulating its ripening process and positively influencing quality parameters during pre-harvest. The possible influence of ABA preventing over-ripening in cold-stored sweet cherries is also discussed.

KEYWORDS:

ABA; ascorbate; cold storage; over-ripening; ripening; sweet cherry; vitamin E

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