Glyoxylic acid overcomes 1-MCP-induced blockage of fruit ripening in Pyrus communis L. var. 'D'Anjou'.
Additional Document Info
1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) in an ethylene receptor antagonist that blocks ethylene perception and downstream ripening responses in climacteric fruit imparting a longer shelf life. However, in European pear, the application of 1-MCP irreversibly obstructs the onset of system 2 ethylene production resulting in perpetually unripe fruit with undesirable quality. Application of exogenous ethylene, carbon dioxide and treatment to high temperatures is not able to reverse the blockage in ripening. We recently reported that during cold conditioning, activation of alternative oxidase (AOX) occurs pre-climacterically. In this study, we report that activation of AOX via exposure of 1-MCP treated 'D'Anjou' pear fruit to glyoxylic acid triggers an accelerated ripening response. Time course physiological analysis revealed that ripening is evident from decreased fruit firmness and increased internal ethylene. Transcriptomic and functional enrichment analyses revealed genes and ontologies implicated in glyoxylic acid-mediated ripening, including AOX, TCA cycle, fatty acid metabolism, amino acid metabolism, organic acid metabolism, and ethylene-responsive pathways. These observations implicate the glyoxylate cycle as a biochemical hub linking multiple metabolic pathways to stimulate ripening through an alternate mechanism. The results provide information regarding how blockage caused by 1-MCP may be circumvented at the metabolic level, thus opening avenues for consistent ripening in pear and possibly other fruit.