Peaches (Prunus persica L.) are considered among the most cultivated horticultural crops throughout the world because of their attractive flavour and abundant phytonutrients (Aubert & Chalot , 2020). Nevertheless, harvested peach fruit ripen and deteriorate rapidly with the high susceptibility to fungal infections by a broad range of bacterial phytopathogens, resulting in severe economic losses. Rhizopus stolonifer (Ehrenb. ex Fr.) Vuill. is a representative necrotrophic fungal pathogen that brings about severe Rhizopus rot in peaches (Romanazzi et al., 2016). Constrain on postharvest decay in agronomic fruits relies on the use of chemical fungicides mainly, but the public concerns over low-level chemical residuals in the environment and the development of pathogen resistance to some fungicides have grown dramatically in the last decade. Thus, there is an imperative need for natural substances to control postharvest diseases of fruits (Russell , 2006).
Recently, brassinosteroid (BR) as a natural growth-promoting phytohormone has been catching the attention of researchers. Among the BRs, the most important compound of 2,4-epibrassionolide (EBR) has been well-documented to be an efficient inducer for both functions of regulating plant physiological processes and inducing the transcriptions of defense genes against pathogen attacks (Filek et al., 2018). Furthermore, a few researches have displayed that EBR or BRs are potential candidates for “assisted phytoremediation” in Stress-responding systems and further up-regulated the resistances of model plant species to viral, bacterial, and fungal pathogens, such as barley (Ali et al., 2013), Arabidopsis thaliana (Albrecht et al., 2012), tobacco, and rice (Nakashita et al., 2003). Nevertheless, limited data are available on the EBR induction on disease-resistance responses in agronomic fruits. Hence, the goal of the present research was to determine the most effective concentration of EBR to reduce decay caused by R. stolonifer on peaches and to analyse the molecular mechanisms involved.
This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31671913 and 31672209) and the Funding Project for Fifth Excellent Talents in the Universities of Chongqing City (201731).
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