Membrane studies in Japanese plums (Prunus salicina Lindl.)

Jooste, Mariana (2012-12)

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The export of Japanese plums from South Africa is challenging, since most cultivars are prone to develop chilling injury (CI) when stored at low temperatures. This injury manifests as gel breakdown or internal browning in the mesocarp tissue of the fruit on removal from low storage temperature conditions, i.e. in the consumer’s fruit basket, who subsequently does not buy plums again. Loss of cell membrane integrity and oxidative stress are, respectively, the primary and secondary physiological responses to CI. The main aim of this study was to investigate changes in cell membrane composition and levels of antioxidants in plums throughout fruit development and maturation, during forced air cooling (FAC) and storage under different temperature regimes. ‘Sapphire’ (a chilling susceptible cultivar) accumulated high levels of glutathione and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) during fruit development. Therefore, the cultivar is protected against lipid peroxidation while developing on the tree, but the high levels of PUFAs, which are easily oxidised, may cause this cultivar to be chilling susceptible when stored at low temperatures. It is suggested that the high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which are not easily oxidised, and ascorbic acid that accumulated in ‘Angeleno’ (a chilling resistant cultivar) during fruit development, render this cultivar CI resistant during long-term cold-storage. When stored at -0.5 °C, CI development increased at a higher rate, ethylene evolution rates were higher and water soluble antioxidant activity (HAA), ascorbic acid and glutathione levels, and the MUFA:PUFA ratio were lower in H2 (more mature) ‘Sapphire’ plums than H1 fruit (less mature). Therefore, concurrent with H2 fruit having lower levels of antioxidants to quench free radicals caused by chilling stress, their cell membranes were more vulnerable to oxidation due to their phospholipid fatty acid composition. H2 fruit also had higher levels of saturated fatty acids, and hence less fluid cell membranes than H1 fruit when stored at -0.5 °C. An intermittent warming (IW) regime delayed symptom appearance and reduced CI severity in plums significantly compared to storage at -0.5 °C. Fruit stored under the IW regime had a more optimal phospholipid fatty acid composition and lower membrane sterol levels under shelf-life conditions to keep the membranes fluid. It also had higher levels of HAA and lipid soluble antioxidant activity, ascorbic acid and glutathione, which rendered fruit better protected against oxidation. Elevated storage temperatures (2.5 °C to 7.5 °C) caused higher levels of lipid peroxidation or low ascorbic acid levels and poor fruit quality compared to the IW regime in ‘Sapphire’ plums. ‘Laetitia’ plums stored at 5 °C and 7.5 °C had significantly less CI than under the IW regime, but softened quicker due to higher ethylene evolution rates. ‘Sapphire’ tolerated both long and short FAC durations, but a slower initial FAC rate prevented CI manifestation and caused a higher HAA after cold-storage in this fruit. ‘Laetitia’ cooled with a slower initial FAC rate and for a longer duration resulted in the best fruit quality and had higher HAA, total phenolic, phospholipid and saturated phospholipid fatty acid concentrations during storage.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die uitvoer van Japanese pruime vanaf Suid-Afrika hou talle uitdagings in, want die meeste van die kultivars ontwikkel koueskade wanneer hulle by lae temperature opgeberg word. Koueskade manifesteer as gelverval of interne verbruining in die mesokarpweefsel van die vrugte wanneer die vrugte verwyder word uit die lae opbergingstemperatuuromstandighede, m.a.w. in die verbruiker se vrugtemandjie, wat nie weer pruime koop nie. Verlies aan selmembraanintegriteit en oksidatiewe druk is, respektiewelik, die primêre and sekondêre fisiologiese reaksies op koueskade. Die hoofdoel van hierdie studie was om die veranderinge in selmembraansamestelling en antioksidantkonsentrasie in pruime te ondersoek tydens vrugontwikkeling en volwassewording, tydens geforseerde lugverkoeling (GLV) en tydens opberging onder verskillende temperatuurregimes. ‘Sapphire’ (‘n koueskade sensitiewe kultivar) het hoër konsentrasies van glutatioon en polionversadigde vetsure (POV) tydens vrugontwikkeling geakkumuleer. Dié kultivar is dus voldoende beskerm teen lipiedperoksidasie tydens vrugontwikkeling aan die boom, maar die hoë konsentrasies van POVs, wat maklik oksideer, mag veroorsaak dat hierdie kultivar meer koueskadesensitief is wanneer dit by lae temperature opgeberg word. Die hoë konsentrasies van mono-onversadigde vetsure (MOV), wat nie maklik oksideer nie, en askorbiensuur wat in ‘Angeleno’ (‘n koueskade weerstandbiedende kultivar) geakkumuleer het tydens vrugontwikkeling, verleen moontlik weerstandbiedendheid teen koueskade aan hierdie kultivar tydens langtermyn koelkopbering. Tydens opberging by -0.5 °C het koueskade ontwikkeling vinniger toegeneem, was etileenvrystellingstempos hoër en die wateroplosbare antioksidantaktiwiteit (HAA), askorbiensuuren glutatioonkonsentrasies en die MOV:POV verhouding laer in H2 (meer volwasse) ‘Sapphire’ pruime as in die H1 vrugte (minder volwasse). Dus, tesame met die laer antioksidantkonsentrasies in die H2 vrugte om die vry radikale veroorsaak deur koelopbering te verminder, was hul selmembrane ook meer vatbaar vir oksidasie a.g.v. die vetsuursamestellling van hul membraanfosfolipiede. Die H2 vrugte het ook ‘n hoër konsentrasie van versadigde vetsure, en dus minder vloeibare membrane as die H1 vrugte gehad tydens opberging by -0.5 °C. Die dubbeltemperatuurregime (DT) het simptoomontwikkeling vertraag en koueskade-intensiteit betekenisvol verminder in vergelyking met pruime wat by -0.5 °C opgeberg is. Vrugte wat met die DT regime opgeberg is, het ‘n meer optimale fosfolipiedvetsuursamestelling en laer konsentrasie van membraansterole tydens gesimuleerde raklewe gehad wat meer vloeibare membrane verseker het. Hierdie behandeling het ook hoër HAA en lipiedoplosbare antioksidantaktiwiteit (LAA), askorbiensuur- en glutatioonkonsentrasies gehad wat die vrugte beskerm het teen oksidatiewe druk. Verhoogde opbergingstemperature het hoër vlakke van lipiedperoksidasie of lae askorbiensuurkonsentrasies asook swak vrugkwaliteit in ‘Sapphire’ pruime veroorsaak in vergelyking met die DT regime. ‘Laetitia’ pruime wat by 5 °C en 7.5 °C opgeberg is, het betekenisvol minder koueskade gehad in vergelyking met die DT regime, maar het vinniger sag geword a.g.v. hoër etileenvrystellingstempos. ‘Sapphire’ kon lang en kort GLV tye weerstaan, maar ‘n stadiger inisiële GLV spoed het die manifestasie van koueskade voorkom en het ‘n hoër HAA in die vrugte tot gevolg gehad na koelopberging. ‘Laetitia’ wat met ‘n stadiger inisiële GLV spoed en oor ‘n langer tyd verkoel is, het die beste vrugkwaliteit, en hoër HAA, totale fenool-, fosfolipied- en versadigde fosfolipiedvetsuurkonsentrasies as die ander behandelings tydens koelopberging gehad

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