Scientia Agricultura Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (10): 1862-1872.doi: 10.3864/j.issn.0578-1752.2017.10.011

• HORTICULTURE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effect of Preharvest Acetylsalicylic Acid Treatments on Ripening and Softening of Harvested Muskmelon Fruit

LIU YaoNa, WANG Yi, BI Yang, LI ShengE, JIANG Hong, ZHU Yan, WANG Bin   

  1. College of Food Science and Engineering, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070
  • Received:2016-11-08 Online:2017-05-16 Published:2017-05-16

Abstract: 【Objective】The experiment was conducted to study the effects of preharvest acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) sprayed for four times during fruit development on ripening and softening of muskmelon fruit (Cucumis melo cv. Agate) at harvest and during storage, and to explore softing mechanism caused by ASA treatments.【Method】The muskmelon, cultivar ‘Agate’, was used as material. The plants were sprayed with ASA at 1mmol·L-1 for four times at young fruit period (2 weeks after flowering), enlarging period (3 wk after flowering), netting period (4 wk after flowering) and mature period (preharvest 48 h). The changes of physiological and biochemical parameters were determined on respiratory rate and ethylene production, firmness, cell wall component and cell wall-degrading enzymes activity of fruit at harvest and during storage (7℃, RH 55%-60%).【Result】Preharvest spray of ASA significantly decreased respiratory rate and ethylene production of muskmelon fruit at harvest, and delayed climecteric peak and ethylene peak for 1wk during storage. ASA treatments increased the firmness of fruit, the contents of propectin, cellulose, hemicellulose and hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins (HRGPs) in fruit at harvest, retarded the conversion of propectin to water soluble pectins (WSP), maintained a higher level of cellulose, hemicellulose and HRGPs, kept firmness of fruit during storage. Preharvest spray of ASA noticeably decreased the activity of cell wall degrading enzymes in fruit at harvest and during storage, mainly inhibited the activity of pectin methylesterase (PME), polygalacturonase (PG), cellulase (Cx) and β-gluosidase (β-Glu). The correlation analysis indicated that there was a significant positive correlation between ethylene production and PG activity, respiratory rate and PG activity. And a very significant positive correlation between ethylene production and β-Glu activity, respiratory rate and β-Glu activity in treated fruit. There was a highly significant positive correlation between firmness and PME activity, propectin and hemicellulose content in treated fruit. Moreover, a significant positive correlation was found between firmness and Cx activity, and WSP content in treated fruit, and a significant negative correlation was also observed between firmness and ethylene production, and respiratory rate in treated fruit.【Conclusion】Preharvest ASA treatments promoted the synthesis of cell wall components during fruit development, significantly inhibited the respiratory rate and ethylene production, reduced the activity of cell wall degrading enzyme, such as PME, PG, Cx and β-Glu, prevented the release of cell wall components and maintained higher fruit firmness at harvest and during storage.

Key words: muskmelon fruit, preharvest sprays, acetylsalicylic acid, ripening, softening

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