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Influence of different maturity stages and treatments of ethephon, exogenous ABA, and fluridone on the ripening and hormone level of ‘Zhonghuashoutao’ peach during development and post-harvest storage were investigated. The accumulation of endogenous ABA appeared at the onset of ripening and peaked at two weeks before harvest. Fruit firmness decreased, while ethylene release and SSC/TA increased sharply after a maximum peak of ABA, which have triggered the initiation of the fruit ripening. The fruits, harvested at 170 d when fruits have ripened and stored at 20 °C, showed an ethylene climacteric peak, and the pulp started softening normally, and the SSC/TA value increased. Compared with them, the immature green fruits harvested at other dates, could not mature normally due to the lack of normal reciprocity between ABA and ethylene. The ethylene release was promoted by the treatment of exogenous ABA and ethephon during ripening until the endogenous ABA reached a maximum value. However, fluridone treatment showed an inhibitory effect. The above-mentioned changes occurred again in the peach fruits after harvest. The results indicated that both ABA and ethylene play important roles in peach ripening, and their action depended on the ripening stage of peach.

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