Chilling-induced tomato flavor loss is associated with altered volatile synthesis and transient changes in DNA methylation.
ABSTRACT: Commercial tomatoes are widely perceived by consumers as lacking flavor. A major part of that problem is a postharvest handling system that chills fruit. Low-temperature storage is widely used to slow ripening and reduce decay. However, chilling results in loss of flavor. Flavor-associated volatiles are sensitive to temperatures below 12 °C, and their loss greatly reduces flavor quality. Here, we provide a comprehensive view of the effects of chilling on flavor and volatiles associated with consumer liking. Reduced levels of specific volatiles are associated with significant reductions in transcripts encoding key volatile synthesis enzymes. Although expression of some genes critical to volatile synthesis recovers after a return to 20 °C, some genes do not. RNAs encoding transcription factors essential for ripening, including RIPENING INHIBITOR (RIN), NONRIPENING, and COLORLESS NONRIPENING are reduced in response to chilling and may be responsible for reduced transcript levels in many downstream genes during chilling. Those reductions are accompanied by major changes in the methylation status of promoters, including RIN Methylation changes are transient and may contribute to the fidelity of gene expression required to provide maximal beneficial environmental response with minimal tangential influence on broader fruit developmental biology.
Project description:RIPENING INHIBITOR (RIN)-deficient fruits generated by CRISPR/Cas9 initiated partial ripening at a similar time to wild-type (WT) fruits but only 10% WT concentrations of carotenoids and ethylene (ET) were synthesized. RIN-deficient fruit never ripened completely, even when supplied with exogenous ET. The low amount of endogenous ET that they did produce was sufficient to enable ripening initiation and this could be suppressed by the ET perception inhibitor 1-MCP. The reduced ET production by RIN-deficient tomatoes was due to an inability to induce autocatalytic system-2 ET synthesis, a characteristic feature of climacteric ripening. Production of volatiles and transcripts of key volatile biosynthetic genes also were greatly reduced in the absence of RIN. By contrast, the initial extent and rates of softening in the absence of RIN were similar to WT fruits, although detailed analysis showed that the expression of some cell wall-modifying enzymes was delayed and others increased in the absence of RIN. These results support a model where RIN and ET, via ERFs, are required for full expression of ripening genes. Ethylene initiates ripening of mature green fruit, upregulates RIN expression and other changes, including system-2 ET production. RIN, ET and other factors are required for completion of the full fruit-ripening programme.
Project description:Flavor is a key attribute defining melon fruit quality and driving consumer preferences. We characterized and compared fruit ripening patterns (ethylene, respiration), physicochemical properties (rind/flesh color, firmness, soluble solids, acidity), aroma volatiles, and flavor-related sensory attributes in seven melon genotypes differing in shelf life capacity. Fruits were evaluated at optimal maturity and after storage for six days at 5 °C plus one day at room temperature. Total volatile content increased after storage in all genotypes, with esters being dominant. Shorter shelf-life genotypes, displaying a sharper climacteric phase, correlated with fruity/floral/sweet flavor-related descriptors, and with esters, sulfur-containing compounds and a terpenoid. Longer shelf-life types were associated with firmness, green and grassy aroma/flavor and aldehydes. Multivariate regression identified key volatiles that predict flavor sensory perception, which could accelerate breeding of longer shelf-life melons with improved flavor characteristics.
Project description:The interactive effects of six maturity stages and refrigerated storage (chilling)/blanching (heating) treatments on the volatile profiles of ripe tomatoes were studied. A total of 42 volatiles were identified, of which 19 compounds had odor activity values equal to or greater than 1. Of those, "green" and "leafy" aroma volatiles were most abundant. Chilling and heating treatments both suppressed overall volatile production, with chilling having the greater impact, regardless of harvest maturity. However, fruit harvested at the turning stage had the least volatile suppression by chilling and heating treatments in comparison with fruit harvested earlier or later, mostly in the fatty acid- and phenylalanine-derived volatiles. Volatiles derived from amino acids were promoted by heat treatment for fruit harvested at all maturities, and those derived from carotenoid and phenylalanine pathways and harvested at advanced harvest maturities were stimulated by chilling treatment. Volatile production is generally believed to be improved by delayed harvest, with vine-ripe being optimum. However, opposite results were observed possibly because the later-harvested fruit had longer exposure to open-field weather stress. The best harvest maturity recommendation is the turning stage where fruit developed abundant volatiles and were least impacted by chilling and heating treatments.
Project description:Aroma-related volatiles, together with sugars and acids, play an important role in determining fruit flavor quality. Characteristic volatiles of peach fruit are mainly derived from fatty acids such as linoleic acid (18:2) and linolenic acid (18:3). In the present study, six genes encoding fatty acid desaturases (FAD) were cloned, including two ?-6 FAD genes (PpFAD2, PpFAD6) and four ?-3 FAD genes (PpFAD3-1, PpFAD3-2, PpFAD7 and PpFAD8). Heterologous expression of peach FADs in tobacco plants showed that PpFAD3-1, and PpFAD3-2 significantly reduced contents of 18:2, and accumulated significant higher levels of 18:3. In the case of volatiles, transgenic plants produced lower concentrations of hexanal and higher levels of (E)-2-hexenal. Consequently, the ratio of the (E)-2-hexenal and hexanal was about 5- and 3-fold higher than that of wild type (WT) in PpFAD3-1 and PpFAD3-2 transformants, respectively. No significant changes in volatile profiles were observed in transgenic plants overexpressing the four other peach FAD genes. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis showed that ripe fruit had high PpFAD3-1 and low PpFAD3-2 transcript levels. In contrast, high PpFAD3-2 and low PpFAD3-1 transcript levels were observed in young fruit. These results indicate a temporal regulation of these two ?-3 FADs during development and ripening, influencing peach fruit volatile formation.
Project description:Kiwifruit [Actinidia deliciosa (A. Chev.) C.F. Liang et A.R. Ferguson, cv. "Hayward"] is classified as climacteric fruit and the initiation of endogenous ethylene production following harvest is induced by exogenous ethylene or chilling exposure. To understand the biological basis of this "dilemma," kiwifruit ripening responses were characterized at 20°C following treatments with exogenous ethylene (100 ?L L(-1), 20°C, 24 h) or/and chilling temperature (0°C, 10 days). All treatments elicited kiwifruit ripening and induced softening and endogenous ethylene biosynthesis, as determined by 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) content and ACC synthase (ACS) and ACC oxidase (ACO) enzyme activities after 10 days of ripening at 20°C. Comparative proteomic analysis using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE-PAGE) and nanoscale liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (nanoLC-MS/MS) revealed 81 kiwifruit proteins associated with ripening. Thirty-one kiwifruit proteins were identified as commonly regulated by the three treatments accompanied by dynamic changes of 10 proteins specific to exogenous ethylene, 2 to chilling treatment, and 12 to their combination. Ethylene and/or chilling-responsive proteins were mainly involved in disease/defense, energy, protein destination/storage, and cell structure/cell wall. Interactions between the identified proteins were demonstrated by bioinformatics analysis, allowing a more complete insight into biological pathways and molecular functions affected by ripening. The present approach provides a quantitative basis for understanding the ethylene- and chilling-induced kiwifruit ripening and climacteric fruit ripening in general.
Project description:Papaya (Carica papaya L.) is sensitive to low temperature and easy to be subjected to chilling injury, which causes fruit ripening disorder. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the expression of genes related to ethylene and fruit ripening disorder caused by chilling injury. Papaya fruits were firstly stored at 7°C and 12°C for 25 and 30 days, respectively, then treated with exogenous ethylene and followed by ripening at 25°C for 5 days. Chilling injury symptoms such as pulp water soaking were observed in fruit stored at 7°C on 20 days, whereas the coloration and softening were completely blocked after 25 days, Large differences in the changes in the expression levels of twenty two genes involved in ethylene were seen during 7°C-storage with chilling injury. Those genes with altered expression could be divided into three groups: the group of genes that were up-regulated, including ACS1/2/3, EIN2, EIN3s/EIL1, CTR1/2/3, and ERF1/3/4; the group of genes that were down-regulated, including ACO3, ETR1, CTR4, EBF2, and ERF2; and the group of genes that were un-regulated, including ACO1/2, ERS, and EBF1. The results also showed that pulp firmness had a significantly positive correlation with the expression of ACS2, ACO1, CTR1/4, EIN3a/b, and EBF1/2 in fruit without chilling injury. This positive correlation was changed to negative one in fruit after storage at 7°C for 25 days with chilling injury. The coloring index displayed significantly negative correlations with the expression levels of ACS2, ACO1/2, CTR4, EIN3a/b, ERF3 in fruit without chilling injury, but these correlations were changed into the positive ones in fruit after storage at 7°C for 25 days with chilling injury. All together, these results indicate that these genes may play important roles in the abnormal softening and coloration with chilling injury in papaya.
Project description:BACKGROUND: During ripening, climacteric fruits increase their ethylene level and subsequently undergo various physiological changes, such as softening, pigmentation and development of aroma and flavor. These changes occur simultaneously and are caused by the highly synchronized expression of numerous genes at the onset of ripening. In tomatoes, the MADS-box transcription factor RIN has been regarded as a key regulator responsible for the onset of ripening by acting upstream of both ethylene- and non-ethylene-mediated controls. However, except for LeACS2, direct targets of RIN have not been clarified, and little is known about the transcriptional cascade for ripening. RESULTS: Using immunoprecipitated (IPed) DNA fragments recovered by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) with anti-RIN antibody from ripening tomato fruit, we analyzed potential binding sites for RIN (CArG-box sites) in the promoters of representative ripening-induced genes by quantitative PCR. Results revealed nearly a 5- to 20-fold enrichment of CArG boxes in the promoters of LeACS2, LeACS4, PG, TBG4, LeEXP1, and LeMAN4 and of RIN itself, indicating direct interaction of RIN with their promoters in vivo. Moreover, sequence analysis and genome mapping of 51 cloned IPed DNAs revealed potential RIN binding sites. Quantitative PCR revealed that four of the potential binding sites were enriched 4- to 17-fold in the IPed DNA pools compared with the controls, indicating direct interaction of RIN with these sites in vivo. Near one of the four CArG boxes we found a gene encoding a protein similar to thioredoxin y1. An increase in the transcript level of this gene was observed with ripening in normal fruit but not in the rin mutant, suggesting that RIN possibly induces its expression. CONCLUSIONS: The presented results suggest that RIN controls fruit softening and ethylene production by the direct transcriptional regulation of cell-wall-modifying genes and ethylene biosynthesis genes during ripening. Moreover, the binding of RIN to its own promoter suggests the presence of autoregulation for RIN expression. ChIP-based analyses identified a novel RIN-binding CArG-box site that harbors a gene associated with RIN expression in its flanking region. These findings clarify the crucial role of RIN in the transcriptional regulation of ripening initiation and progression.
Project description:Sugars, organic acids and volatiles of apricot were determined by HPLC and GC-MS during fruit development and ripening, and the key taste and aroma components were identified by integrating flavor compound contents with consumers' evaluation. Sucrose and glucose were the major sugars in apricot fruit. The contents of all sugars increased rapidly, and the accumulation pattern of sugars converted from glucose-predominated to sucrose-predominated during fruit development and ripening. Sucrose synthase (SS), sorbitol oxidase (SO) and sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH) are under tight developmental control and they might play important roles in sugar accumulation. Almost all organic acids identified increased during early development and then decrease rapidly. During early development, fruit mainly accumulated quinate and malate, with the increase of citrate after maturation, and quinate, malate and citrate were the predominant organic acids at the ripening stage. The odor activity values (OAV) of aroma volatiles showed that 18 aroma compounds were the characteristic components of apricot fruit. Aldehydes and terpenes decreased significantly during the whole development period, whereas lactones and apocarotenoids significantly increased with fruit ripening. The partial least squares regression (PLSR) results revealed that ?-ionone, ?-decalactone, sucrose and citrate are the key characteristic flavor factors contributing to consumer acceptance. Carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases (CCD) may be involved in ?-ionone formation in apricot fruit.
Project description:Tomato fruit stored below 12°C lose quality and can develop chilling injury upon subsequent transfer to a shelf temperature of 20°C. The more severe symptoms of altered fruit softening, uneven ripening and susceptibility to rots can cause postharvest losses. We compared the effects of exposure to mild (10°C) and severe chilling (4°C) on the fruit quality and transcriptome of 'Angelle', a cherry-type tomato, harvested at the red ripe stage. Storage at 4°C (but not at 10°C) for 27 days plus an additional 6 days at 20°C caused accelerated softening and the development of mealiness, both of which are commonly related to cell wall metabolism. Transcriptome analysis using RNA-Seq identified a range of transcripts encoding enzymes putatively involved in cell wall disassembly whose expression was strongly down-regulated at both 10 and 4°C, suggesting that accelerated softening at 4°C was due to factors unrelated to cell wall disassembly, such as reductions in turgor. In fruit exposed to severe chilling, the reduced transcript abundances of genes related to cell wall modification were predominantly irreversible and only partially restored upon rewarming of the fruit. Within 1 day of exposure to 4°C, large increases occurred in the expression of alternative oxidase, superoxide dismutase and several glutathione S-transferases, enzymes that protect cell contents from oxidative damage. Numerous heat shock proteins and chaperonins also showed large increases in expression, with genes showing peak transcript accumulation after different times of chilling exposure. These changes in transcript abundance were not induced at 10°C, and were reversible upon transfer of the fruit from 4 to 20°C. The data show that genes involved in cell wall modification and cellular protection have differential sensitivity to chilling temperatures, and exhibit different capacities for recovery upon rewarming of the fruit.
Project description:Fruit ripening represents a process that changes flavor and appearance and also a process that dramatically increases fruit softening. Fruit softening and textural variations mainly result from disruptions to the cell walls of the fruit throughout ripening, but the exact mechanisms and specific modifications of the cell wall remain unclear. Plant-specific GRAS proteins play a critical role in development and growth. To date, few GRAS genes have been functionally categorized in tomato. The expression of a novel GRAS gene described in this study and designated as SlFSR (fruit shelf-life regulator) specifically increased during fruit ripening, but was significantly decreased in the tomato mutant rin (ripening inhibitor). RNAi repression of SlFSR resulted in reduced expression of multiple cell wall modification-related genes, decreased the activities of PG (polygalacturonase), TBG (tomato ?-galactosidase), CEL (cellulase), and XYL (?-D-xylosidase), and significantly prolonged fruit shelf-life. Furthermore, overexpression of SlFSR in mutant rin gave rise to up-regulated expression of multiple cell wall modification-related genes, such as PG, TBG4, CEL2, XYL1, PL, PE, MAN1, EXP1, and XTH5, and significantly shortened the fruit shelf-life. These findings reveal some of the genetic mechanisms underlying fruit cell wall metabolism and suggest that the SlFSR gene is another potential biotechnological target for the control of tomato fruit shelf-life.