Phospholipase A₂ and postharvest peel pitting in citrus fruit
The role of phospholipase A₂ (PLA₂) activity in development of postharvest peel pitting in mature 'Fallglo' tangerines [Bower citrus hybrid (Citrus reticulata Blancox C. reticulata Blancox C. paradisi Macf.)xTemple (C. reticulata Blancox Citrus sinensis L.)] and 'Navel' oranges (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck) was investigated. Changes in RH from 30% to 90% followed by fruit waxing increased electrolyte leakage and PLA₂ activity in flavedo, and induced pitting. Treatment with an aqueous dip of aristolochic acid (AT), a specific inhibitor of secretory phospholipase A₂ (sPLA₂) activity, immediately before transfer from 30% to 90% RH storage, markedly reduced peel pitting symptoms. Five genes encoding various phospholipase As isolated from citrus (three patatin-like and two sPLA₂-like sequences) differentially accumulated in healthy areas, areas with developing lesions and necrotic lesions of disordered fruit. Other PLA₂, phospholipase C, and phospholipase D inhibitors also reduced peel pitting; however, PLA₂ inhibitors were the most effective in preventing the disorder. In addition, phospholipase inhibitors promoted fruit decay, suggesting that innate resistance is impacted by phospholipase action. Together, the results provide evidence for involvement of phospholipase activity in development of postharvest peel pitting symptoms in citrus fruit.
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