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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 553: IV International Conference on Postharvest Science

DIFFERENTIAL SENSITIVITY TO ETHYLENE OF THE VARIOUS RIPENING PATHWAYS OF ETHYLENE-SUPPRESSED CANTALOUPE MELONS

Authors:   F. Flores, F. Romojaro, M. Ben Amor, J.C. Pech, A. Latché
Keywords:   Charentais melon, antisense ACC oxidase, ethylene, softening, yellowing
Abstract:
The availability of ethylene-suppressed transgenic melon fruit harboring an ACC oxidase gene in antisense orientation (Ayub et al., 1996) allowed to discriminate between ethylene-dependent and ethylene-independent ripening pathways. It has been observed that pulp coloration, accumulation of sugars, and loss of acidity are ethylene independent processes, whereas rind yellowing, flesh softening, development of the peduncular abscission (Guis et al., 1997), aroma production (Bauchot et al., 1998) and respiratory burst (not published) are ethylene dependent. The present study is aimed at characterizing the sensitivity to ethylene of softening of the flesh and yellowing of the rind by treating ethylene-suppressed melons with ethylene. The kinetics of changes have been followed under various ethylene concentrations and upon transfer to air. This has allowed an estimation of the threshold levels of ethylene required for initiating the processes and the saturating levels for full velocity. The effects of the cessation of the ethylene treatment have also been determined.
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