Regulated Chlorophyll Degradation in Spinach Leaves during Storage

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Horticultural Crops Quality Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, BARC-West, Beltsville, MD 20705

Degradation of chlorophyll in spinach (Spinacia olearacea L. cv. Hybrid 612) appeared to be regulated through the peroxidase-hydrogen peroxide pathway, which opens the porphyrin ring, thus resulting in a colorless compound. This conclusion was arrived at from the analysis of chlorophylls (Chls) and their metabolizes by HPLC and of enzyme activities catalyzing the degradative reactions. Chls decreased at 25C but not at 1C. The chlorophyll oxidase pathway was not active, as noted by the lack of accumulation of a reaction product named Chl a-1. Lipid peroxidation increased with storage, but the products of the reaction. did not degrade chlorophyll, as noted by the lack of increase in Chl a-1. Chlorophyllase activity increased, but chlorophyllide, the expected product of the reaction, changed minimally during senescence. Ethylene at 10 ppm did not alter the pathway that degraded chlorophyll in spinach.

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