Jasmonic acid (JA) and methyl jasmonate (MJ), collectively referred to as jasmonates, are naturally occurring plant growth regulators involved in various aspects of plant development and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. In this study, we found that postharvest application of jasmonates reduced decay caused by the green mold Penicillium digitatum (Pers.: Fr.) Sacc. after either natural or artificial inoculation of grapefruit (Citrus paradisi `Marsh Seedless'). These treatments also effectively reduced chilling injury incidence after cold storage. The most effective concentration of jasmonates for reducing decay in cold-stored fruit or after artificial inoculation of wounded fruit at 24 °C was 10 μmol·L-1. Higher and lower jasmonate concentrations were less effective at both temperatures. MJ at 10 μmol·L-1 also most effectively reduced the percentage of fruit displaying chilling injury symptoms after 6 weeks of storage at 2 °C and 4 additional d at 20 °C. When tested in vitro, neither JA nor MJ had any direct antifungal effect on P. digitatum spore germination or germ tube elongation. Therefore, it is suggested that jasmonates probably reduced green mold decay in grapefruit indirectly by enhancing the natural resistance of the fruit to P. digitatum at high and low temperatures.
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