Jasmonic acid and its methyl ester (methyl jasmonate), regarded as putative plant growth regulators, are naturally occurring in higher plants and present in a variety of plant organs including apple fruit. Pre- and post-climacteric `Summer Red' apples were exposed for 12 hrs to a low concentration (25ul/4L) of atmospheric methyl jasmonate. Ethylene and volatile production were measured with GC/MS at harvest and through 15 days at 20°C after treatment. Forty eight headspace volatile compounds were identified and quantified. Results showed that methyl jasmonate effects depended on stage of fruit development. Methyl jasmonate stimulated ethylene, ester, alcohol, and acid productions in preclimacteric fruits while no significant effects were observed on postclimacteric fruits. Ketone and aldehyde volatile evolutions were not significantly affected by methyl jasmonate regardless of harvest date.
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