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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: M.Y. Jiang, Z.R. Wang, K.W. Chen, J.Q. Kan, K.T. Wang, Zs. Zalán, F. Hegyi, K. Takács, and M.Y. Du

After suffering from mechanical injury and fungal infection, grapes are perishable. Botrytis cinerea, the causal agent of gray mould, is a critical pathogen for grapes. In this study, the inhibitory effect of Pseudomonas fluorescens on the formation of gray mould on grapes during the postharvest storage was investigated on “Kyoho” grape. The results suggest that a living cell suspension of P. fluorescens significantly inhibited spore germination of B. cinerea, and significantly reduced the incidence of grape gray mould. Moreover, compared with the control, the fruit inoculated with P. fluorescens had elevated activities of polyphenol oxidase (PPO), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT), phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), chitinase (CHI), and β-1,3-glucanase (GLU). Increase in enzyme activity correlated with enhanced host resistance. In addition, there was little difference in storage quality between the treated group and control group, indicating no adverse effects of the induced defence response on fruit quality.

Open access

The present study was performed to investigate the effect of β-aminobutyric acid (BABA) treatment on defence activation in grape berries and to analyse its cellular mechanism. The results implied that BABA treatment at an effective concentration of 20 mM significantly inhibited gray mould rot caused by Botrytis cinerea in grape berries by inducing resistance. Accordingly, 20 mM BABA triggered a priming defence in grape suspension cells, since only the BABA-treated cells exhibited an accelerated ability for augmenting defence responses upon the pathogen inoculation. The primed cellular reactions were related to an early H2O2 burst, prompt accumulation of stilbene phytoalexins and activation of PR genes. Thus, we assume that 20 mM BABA can induce resistance to B. cinerea infection in intact grape berries perhaps via intercellular priming defence. Moreover, the BABA-induced priming defence is verified, because no negative effects on cell growth, anthocyanin synthesis, and quality impairment in either grape cells or intact berries were observed under low pathogenic pressure.

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This study was conducted to assess the effects of 2,4-epibrassionolide (EBR) on mold decay caused by Rhizopus stolonifer and its capability to activate biochemical defense reactions in postharvest peaches. The treatment of EBR at 5 μM possessed the optimum effectiveness on inhibiting the Rhizopus rot in peach fruit among all treatments. The EBR treatment significantly up-regulated the expression levels of a set of defense-related enzymes and PR genes that included PpCHI, PpGns1, PpPAL, PpNPR1, PpPR1 and PpPR4 as well as led to an enhancement for biosynthesis of phenolics and lignins in peaches during the incubation at 20 °C. Interestingly, the EBR-treated peaches exhibited more striking expressions of PR genes and accumulation of antifungal compounds upon inoculation with the pathogen, indicating a priming defense could be activated by EBR. On the other hand, 5 μM EBR exhibited direct toxicity on fungal proliferation of R. stolonifer in vitro. Thus, we concluded that 5 μM EBR inhibited the Rhizopus rot in peach fruit probably by a direct inhibitory effect on pathogen growth and an indirect induction of a priming resistance. These findings provided a potential alternative for control of fungal infection in peaches during the postharvest storage.

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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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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: E. Horvath-Szanics, J. Perjéssy, A. Klupács, K. Takács, A. Nagy, E. Koppány-Szabó, F. Hegyi, E. Németh-Szerdahelyi, M.Y. Du, Z.R. Wang, J.Q. Kan, and Zs. Zalán

The increasing consumer demand for less processed and more natural food products – while improving those products’ quality, safety, and shelf-life – has raised the necessity of chemical preservative replacement. Biopreservation refers to extended storage life and enhanced safety of foods using the natural microflora and (or) their antibacterial products. Chitinolytic enzymes are of biotechnological interest, since their substrate, chitin, is a major structural component of the cell wall of fungi, which are the main cause of the spoilage of food and raw plant material. Among the several organisms, many bacteria produce chitinolytic enzymes, however, this behaviour is not general. The chitinase activity of the lactic acid bacteria is scarcely known and studied.

The aim of the present study was to select Lactobacillus strains that have genes encoding chitinase, furthermore, to detect expressed enzymes and to characterise their chitinase activity. Taking into consideration the importance of chitin-bindig proteins (CBPs) in the chitinase activity, CBPs were also examined. Five Lactobacillus strains out of 43 strains from 12 different species were selected by their chitinase coding gene. The presence of the chitinase and chitin-biding protein production were confirmed, however, no chitinolytic activity has been identified.

Open access