Calcium Chloride and 1-Methylcyclopropene Treatments Delay Postharvest and Reduce Decay of ‘New Queen’ Melon

in HortScience

In this study, newly harvested ‘New Queen’ melons were treated with calcium chloride (CaCl2) and 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) alone or in combination before storage. The results show that respiration rate, ethylene release, activity, and gene expression of pectinases such as polygalacturonase (PG), pectin methylesterase (PME), and pectate lyase (PL) in ‘New Queen’ melons decreased dramatically when treated with 2% CaCl2 and/or 1 μL·L–1 1-MCP. In addition, climacteric behavior and flesh hardness reduction were inhibited. It was also discovered that softer melon flesh was more conducive to the growth and reproduction of decay-causing microorganisms, according to their growth curves in melons that were different in flesh hardness, suggesting inhibiting fruit softening can slow down the growth of microorganisms in fruit flesh and thus reduce fruit decay rate. The combined use of CaCl2 and 1-MCP was more effective in suppressing respiration rate, ethylene release, and protopectin hydrolysis, which could greatly delay the softening, reduce the decay rate, and extend the shelf life of ‘New Queen’ melons.

Contributor Notes

Current address: Institute of Agro-products Processing Science and Technology, Hainan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, No. 14 Xindan Road, Haikou, Hainan 571110, China.

Corresponding author. E-mail: jixinli1961@126.com.

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    Effects of different concentrations of CaCl2 on (A) respiratory rate and (B) ethylene release during postharvest storage of Xinmi fruits. Effects of different concentrations of on (C) respiratory rate and (D) ethylene release during postharvest storage of Xinmi fruits. Effects of CaCl2 and/or 1-MCP on (E) respiratory rate and (F) ethylene release during the postharvest storage of Xinmi melon.

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    Effects of CaCl2 and 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) alone or in combination on fruit hardness during postharvest storage of Xinmi melon.

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    Effects of CaCl2 and/or 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) on (A) protopectin and (B) soluble pectin contents during the storage of Xinmi melon.

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    Effects of CaCl2 and 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) on (A) polygalacturonase (PG) activity and (B) gene expression, (C) pectin methylesterase (PME) activity and (D) gene expression, and (E) pectate lyase (PL) activity and (F) gene expression during the storage of Xinmi melon.

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    Growth curves of (A) Erwinia carotovora ssp. carotovora and (B) Pseudomonas syringae pv. Lachrymans in flesh of different hardness. CFU = colony-forming units

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    Effects of CaCl2 and 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) on decay rate of ‘New Queen’ melon fruit during storage.

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