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J Agric Food Chem. 2017 Nov 22;65(46):9987-9994. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b03354. Epub 2017 Nov 8.

Natural Variation in Banana Varieties Highlights the Role of Melatonin in Postharvest Ripening and Quality.

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Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Resources of Tropical Crops, Institute of Tropical Bioscience and Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences , Xueyuan Road 4, Haikou, Hainan 571101, People's Republic of China.
National Engineering Research Center for Nanomedicine, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology , Luoyu Road 1037, Wuhan, Hubei 430074, People's Republic of China.
Key Laboratory of Genetic Improvement of Bananas, Hainan Province, Haikou Experimental Station, China Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences , Haikou, Hainan 570102, People's Republic of China.
Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio , 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78229, United States.
Hainan Key Laboratory for Sustainable Utilization of Tropical Bioresources and College of Biology, Institute of Tropical Agriculture and Forestry, Hainan University , Haikou, Hainan 570228, People's Republic of China.


This study aimed to investigate the role of melatonin in postharvest ripening and quality in various banana varieties with contrasting ripening periods. During the postharvest life, endogenous melatonin showed similar performance with ethylene in connection to ripening. In comparison to ethylene, melatonin was more correlated with postharvest banana ripening. Exogenous application of melatonin resulted in a delay of postharvest banana ripening. Moreover, this effect is concentration-dependent, with 200 and 500 μM treatments more effective than the 50 μM treatment. Exogenous melatonin also led to elevated endogenous melatonin content, reduced ethylene production through regulation of the expression of MaACO1 and MaACS1, and delayed sharp changes of quality indices. Taken together, this study highlights that melatonin is an indicator for banana fruit ripening in various varieties, and the repression of ethylene biosynthesis and postharvest ripening by melatonin can be used for biological control of postharvest fruit ripening and quality.


banana; ethylene; melatonin; postharvest ripening; quality

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