Ultraviolet Illumination Induces Scoparone Production in Kumquat and Orange Fruit and Improves Decay Resistance

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Ministry of Agriculture, ARO Volcani Center, P. 0. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel

Ultraviolet (UV) illumination (254 nm) induced production of the phytoalexin scoparone in flavedo of kumquat (Fortunella margarita Lour. Swingle cv. Nagami) and orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck cvs. Shamouti and Valencia]. Trace amounts of scoparone (<2.0 μg·g-1 fresh weight of flavedo) were detected in nontreated fruits. Phytoalexin accumulation in kumquat reached a peak of 530 μg·g-1 11 days after illumination, hut the amount declined rapidly, returning to a trace level 1 month after treatment.. Production of scoparone in illuminated fruits was enhanced by increasing the UV dose from 1.5 × 103 to 9.0 × 103 J·m-2 for orange and from 0.2 × 103 to 1.5 × 103 J·m-2 for kumquat and by raising the storage temperature from 2 to 17C. Phytoalexin accumulation correlated with an increase in antifungal activity of flavedo extracts. UV-illuminated kumquat fruit inoculated with Penicillium digitatum Sacc. 2 days after treatment had a lower incidence of decay than the control. Illumination of previously inoculated fruit failed to prevent decay. Kumquat fruit stored at 17C showed signs of UV-induced peel damage. Chemical name used: 6,7-dimethoxycoumarin (scoparone).

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