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  • Author or Editor: Dongfeng Liu x
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Sorbitol is the main photosynthetic product and primary translocated carbohydrate in the Rosaceae and plays fundamental roles in plant growth, fruit quality, and osmotic stress adaptation. To investigate the effect of frequent high temperature during advanced fruit development on fruit quality of chinese sand pear [Pyrus pyrifolia (Burm. f.) Nakai], we analyzed sorbitol metabolism in mature leaves and fruit flesh of potted ‘Wonhwang’ pear trees. In mature leaves, sorbitol synthesis catalyzed by NADP+-dependent sorbitol-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (S6PDH) was repressed, while sorbitol utilization mainly catalyzed by NAD+-dependent sorbitol dehydrogenase (NAD+-SDH) and NADP+-dependent sorbitol dehydrogenase (NADP+-SDH) was higher than that before high-temperature treatment, which resulted in decreased sorbitol accumulation. In contrast, sucrose accumulation in mature leaves was significantly enhanced in response to high temperatures. In fruit flesh, accumulation of sorbitol and sucrose was increased at the time of harvest under high temperatures. Among sorbitol metabolic enzymes, only NAD+-SDH was sensitive to high temperature in fruit flesh, and significant decrease of NAD+-SDH activity indicated that the fruit sorbitol-uptake capacity was undermined under high temperatures. Transcription analysis revealed tissue-specific responses of NAD+-SDH genes (PpSDH1, PpSDH2, and PpSDH3) to high-temperature treatment. The NAD+-SDH activity and regulation of PpSDH1 and PpSDH3 were positively correlated in mature leaves. However, the downregulation of PpSDH1 and PpSDH2 was consistent with decreased enzyme activity in the fruit flesh. With regard to sorbitol transport, two sorbitol transporter genes (PpSOT1 and PpSOT2) were isolated, and downregulation of PpSOT2 expression in mature leaves indicated that the sorbitol-loading capability decreased under high-temperature conditions because of the limited sorbitol supply. These findings suggested that sorbitol metabolism responded differently in mature leaves and fruit flesh under high temperature, and that these dissimilar responses influenced fruit quality and may play important roles in adaptation to high temperatures.

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Jinyan (Actinidia eriantha × A. chinensis) is one of the gold-fleshed kiwifruit cultivars currently being promoted in south China. However, its fruit dry matter is usually less than 16%, which seriously affects fruit quality including taste and flavor. This causes a financial loss to growers: not only are the prices paid for the fruit low because of their bad reputation for quality, but some orchards have been removed. Improvement of fruit quality is essential. In this study, a method is described for squeezing and twisting flowering shoots before flowering and removing the distal vegetative parts of flowering shoots after fruit set. The effects on fruit quality were determined. The dry matter of fruit was increased by 6.6%. Fruit size also increased as did the chlorophyll a content and the chlorophyll:carotenoid ratio. The significantly increased fruit dry matter, resulting in significant increases in fruit soluble solids concentrations (P < 0.01), thereby possibly improving fruit taste. Fruit weight, fruit length, and carotenoid and ascorbic acid concentrations were significantly enhanced in comparison with controls (P < 0.01), increasing by 20%, 7%, 12%, and 19%, respectively. However, there was no significant difference in soluble sugar concentrations, titratable acid concentrations, and the reduced chlorophyll b concentrations. This research provides a practical method to increase fruit dry matter, and hence a way to allow fruit quality to reach commercial requirements for cultivars such as Jinyan, which under previous management systems had significant shortcomings in fruit flavor and taste.

Open Access