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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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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.

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Present research on prebiotics focuses on either polysaccharides or polyphenols. This study compared the individual and combined impact of polysaccharide, quercetin, and gallic acid (GA) treatment on three human faecal strains. In vitro pure culturing and correlation analysis confirmed that the growth of both beneficial microbe B. longum subsp. longum (0.695, 0.205: R2, slope, respectively) and pathogenic C. perfringens (0.712, 0.085: R2, slope, respectively) increased due to polysaccharide treatment, and only GA treatment would inhibit C. perfringens (0.789, –0.165: R2, slope, respectively) growth. In vivo studies also revealed that genome copies of Bifidobacterium increased and C. perfringens decreased in the faeces, when a blend of the three nutrients rather than single polysaccharide or polyphenols were fed to rats. These data suggested that combined prebiotic treatment improved human faecal strain composition better than single treatment.

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