Rapid Detection of Senescence-related Volatiles of Fruits and Vegetables

in HortScience
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  • 1 Dept. Of Horticulture, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI 48824

Volatile production is known to change with stages of plant organ development. Research has primarily focused on ripening-related volatiles; however, the potential exists to use volatiles as markers of organ damage and senescence. We have employed gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to establish stages of senescence based on volatile profiles of whole and lightly processed broccoli and carrot. An air-tight chopping apparatus was used as a flow-through chamber system and the exit gas stream analyzed for each commodity with and without tissue disruption. For carrot, isoprenoid pathway volatiles, such as 3-carene, caryophellene, α-caryophellene, and β-pinene, increase with damage and tissue senescence. Similar trends were obtained for broccoli with volatiles characteristic of β-oxidation and shikimic acid pathways. Time and condition-related volatile profile changes will be presented for carrot, broccoli, and strawberry.

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