UVA, UVB and UVC Light Enhances the Biosynthesis of Phenolic Antioxidants in Fresh-Cut Carrot through a Synergistic Effect with Wounding.
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Previously, we found that phenolic content and antioxidant capacity (AOX) in carrots increased with wounding intensity. It was also reported that UV radiation may trigger the phenylpropanoid metabolism in plant tissues. Here, we determined the combined effect of wounding intensity and UV radiation on phenolic compounds, AOX, and the phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activity of carrots. Accordingly, phenolic content, AOX, and PAL activity increased in cut carrots with the duration of UVC radiation, whereas whole carrots showed no increase. Carrot pies showed a higher increase compared to slices and shreds. Phenolics, AOX, and PAL activity also increased in cut carrots exposed to UVA or UVB. The major phenolics were chlorogenic acid and its isomers, ferulic acid, and isocoumarin. The type of UV radiation affected phenolic profiles. Chlorogenic acid was induced by all UV radiations but mostly by UVB and UVC, ferulic acid was induced by all UV lights to comparable levels, while isocoumarin and 4,5-diCQA was induced mainly by UVB and UVC compared to UVA. In general, total phenolics correlated linearly with AOX for all treatments. A reactive oxygen species (ROS) mediated hypothetical mechanism explaining the synergistic effect of wounding and different UV radiation stresses on phenolics accumulation in plants is herein proposed.