Exposure of the Shaded Side of Apple Fruit to Full Sun Leads to Up-regulation of Both the Xanthophyll Cycle and the Ascorbate-glutathione Cycle

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  • 1 Cornell Univ., Hort., Ithaca, NY 14853
  • | 2 Cornell Univ., Hort., Ithaca, NY 14853

About 80 days after full bloom, well-exposed fruit on the south part of the canopy of mature Liberty/M.9 apple trees were randomly assigned to one of the following two treatments. Some fruit were turned about 180 degrees to expose the original shaded side to full sun whereas the rest served as untreated controls. On day 0, 1, 2, 4, 7, and 10 after treatment, fruit peel samples were taken from the original shaded side of the treated fruit and both the sun-exposed side and the shaded side of the control fruit at midday to determine photosynthetic pigments and enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants. Maximum photosystem II efficiency of the original shaded side decreased sharply after 1 day exposure to full sun, and then gradually recovered to a similar value of the sun-exposed side of the control fruit by day 10. The shaded side of the control fruit had much lower xanthophyll cycle pool size and conversion and antioxidant enzymes and soluble antioxidants of the ascorbate-glutathione cycle than the sun-exposed side. In response to full sun exposure, xanthophyll cycle pool size of the original shaded side increased, reaching a similar value of the sun-exposed side by day 10. Ascorbate peroxidase, monodehydroascorbate reductase, dehydroascorbate reductase, and glutathione reductase and total pool size and reduction state of both ascorbate and glutathione of the original shaded side all increased to the corresponding values found in the sun-exposed side of the control fruit over a 10-day period. It is concluded that both xanthophyll cycle and the ascorbate-glutathione cycle in the original shaded side are up-regulated in response to fullsun exposure to minimize photo-oxidative damage and contributes to its re-acclimation to full sun.

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