Thailand produces more than 3 million t/year of mangoes and exports the fresh fruit to Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Hong Kong (Chomchalow and Songkhla, 2008). Harvested fruit is commonly refrigerated to delay ripening because the storage life is limited to 2–3 weeks in air at 10 to 15 °C (Sivakumar et al., 2011). However, CI often occurs, especially when green mangoes are stored at low temperatures (Singh et al., 2013). The CI of postharvest mango fruit is characterized by high starch (Chhatpar et al., 1971) and ascorbic acid (Thomas and Joshi, 1988) contents, low sugar (Mohammed and Brecht, 2002) and carotenoid (Thomas and Oke, 1983) contents, skin pitting or browning (Chaplin et al., 1991; Thomas and Joshi, 1988; Thomas and Oke, 1983), and the inhibition of fruit softening (Chaplin et al., 1991; Medlicott et al., 1990). However, desiccated white-corky pulp tissues, which are similar to those of spongy disorder (SD), were also recently identified along with the damaged skin tissues.
SD in mango fruit is known as a ripening disorder which usually occurs in the fruit-ripening stage (Katrodia, 1988; Sivakumar et al., 2011). SD is formed on trees (Katrodia, 1988; Lima et al., 2001; Raja, 2009), especially in fruit with a large size and high gravity (Krishnamurthy, 1980). In a fruit, SD is more frequently formed near the seed rather than near the skin (Burondkar et al., 2009). As for the environmental conditions, SD develops frequently under high-temperature conditions (Raja, 2009).
SD in mango fruit is also characterized by low soluble sugar and high starch accumulations (Chhatpar et al., 1971; Katrodia, 1988; Lima et al., 2001; Vasanthaiah et al., 2006) because of the disturbance of gluconeogenesis (Yashoda et al., 2006).
Some researchers have suggested that the damage of cell membranes derived from lipid peroxidation leads to the formation of SD in mangoes (Janave, 2009; Janave and Sharma, 2008; Shivashankar et al., 2007). Cell membranes in the pulp tissues at the fruit-ripening stage are oxidized by some factors such as high temperatures (Vasanthaiah et al., 2006), desiccation due to water movement from the pulp to the seed (Ravindra and Shivashankar, 2004, 2006; Shivashankar et al., 2007), and infection by Staphylococcus xylosus (Janave and Sharma, 2008; Machhindra and Sharma, 2008).
Therefore, if the damage of cell membranes is the key factor leading to SD, it may also be caused under low-temperature storage conditions because the antioxidant capacities of mango fruit also decrease during cold storage (Ding et al., 2007; Miguel et al., 2011; Shivashankara et al., 2004), which may result in the disturbance of physiological functions in the cell membranes (Kane et al., 1978). Chilling sensitivity to the cell membranes in tropical fruit such as mangoes is often shown by the unsaturation of fatty acids (Kane et al., 1978).
When mango fruit are stored at lower than 10 °C, malfunction or disruption of the membrane function takes place and results in CI (Singh et al., 2013; Sivakumar et al., 2011). Typical physiological changes in chilling-injured pulp tissues are similar to those of SD which are formed on trees at the fruit-ripening stage, i.e., high water loss, high starch accumulation, and a low soluble sugar content (Chaplin et al., 1991; Chhatpar et al., 1971; Gupta and Jain, 2014; Medlicott et al., 1990; Mohammed and Brecht, 2002).
Histological observation revealed that starch granules in the pulp cells rapidly changed their shape from round at the green mature stage to irregular as the fruit matures and eventually almost disappears at the ripening stage (Simão et al., 2008). Such a decomposition process of starch granules in mango fruit is also closely associated with rapid fruit softening caused by cell wall depolymerization (Yashoda et al., 2006).
Immature to mature green mangoes are more sensitive to CI compared with ripe fruit and fail to ripen adequately (Sivakumar et al., 2011). In addition, the CI symptom primarily appears on the skin as grayscales and pitting, and then eventually appears in the pulp (Lizada, 1991), indicating that pulp tissues are more tolerant to CI than the skin.
The preapplication of exogenous ethylene has been used to avoid the ripening inhibition, especially when green mangoes are stored at a low temperature (Montalvo et al., 2007). The preapplication of 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon) solution has been commercially used as an alternative method to ethylene treatment because it is decomposed to ethylene in the absorbed plant tissues (Singh and Janes, 2001).
In our study, green mangoes were stored under low-temperature conditions after being treated with 0.05% ethephon (50 ppm 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid) to determine if chilling disorder also developed in the pulp tissues due to postharvest cold storage.
In addition, soluble sugars, starch, cell wall polysaccharides, and fatty acid unsaturation were compared with those of NR tissues.
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