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- Author or Editor: Gene Lester x
Hypodermal mesocarp disks from abscised muskmelon fruits (Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus Naud.) were floated in 0.00, 0.04 or 0.16 M CaCl2 plus 0.35 M mannitol at ′20C in the dark for 10 days. Changes in chlorophyll, protein and total phospholipids all indicators of membrane senescence were assayed. The catabolism, percent retention, of chlorophyll, protein and total phospholipids was delayed by 0.04 M Ca, but accelerated by 0.16 M compared to no Ca. Loss of membrane integridity, increased free sterol: total phospholipid (umol./umol.), was delayed by 0.04 M Ca, hut accelerated by 0.16 M compared to no Ca. The degree of lipid saturation was inconclusive between Ca treatments. Muskmelon fruit disks membrane lipid degradation is slowed by 0.04 M Ca but accelerated by supraoptimal 0.16 M Ca treatment.
Using an aqueous polymer two-phase [polyethylene glycol (PEG) 3400/dextran T500, 6.2%: 6.2%, w/w] partitioning procedure combined with isopycnic fractionation, plasma membranes derived from muskmelon (Cucumis melo L. var. reticulates Naud.) leaf blades have been isolated and examined for marker enzyme activity, density, and molecular composition. After aqueous polymer partitioning, plasma membranes were centrifuged on a linear sucrose density gradient, and a single band was found at the 31% (w/w) sucrose (1.13 g-cm-3). Identification of plasma membranes was performed by the combination of K+-stimulated ATPase, pH 6.5, vanadate inhibition of ATPase and KNO3-insensitive ATPase activity. Plasma membranes from seedling leaves grown for 5 days at 15C had the highest concentration of total phospholipids, the lowest concentration of proteins, and a total sterol concentration not significantly different from leaves grown at 30C. The total sterol to total phospholipid ratio of the plasma membrane from leaves grown for 5 days at 15C was ≈1:1; from leaves grown for 10 days at 15C or 5 days at 30C the ratio was ≈2:1; and from leaves grown for 10 days at 30C the ratio was ≈3:1. The plasma membrane phospholipid saturated to unsaturated fatty acid ratio from leaves grown for 5 days at 15C was ≈0.8:1.0; from leaves grown for 10 days at 15C or 5 days at 30C the ratio was ≈1.0:1.0; and from leaves grown for 10 days at 30C it was 1.4:1.0.
Lipoxygenase (LOX) activity was assayed on hypodermal- and middle-mesocarp tissues from netted muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) fruit 10, 20, 30, and 40 days postanthesis and after 12 days of storage at 4 or 21C. Highest LOX activity was obtained using a phosphate buffer at pH 7 and 20C. LOX activity was detected only in hypodermal-mesocarp (hypodermic) tissue at 30 days postanthesis, and activity increased with fruit age and storage temperature. Antioxidants, which inhibit LOX, were detected only in hypodermic tissue from 10 through 30 days postanthesis fruits. Linoleic plus linolenic free fatty acids, substrates for LOX, in hypodermic tissue had declined at 30 days postanthesis, as did plasma membrane integrity, and both continued to decline in association with increased LOX activity.
Hybrid, non-netted, green-fl esh, honeydew muskmelon fruit physiological maturity occurred by 40 days after anthesis (DAA). Fruit maturity was determined by major increases in quality attributes: moisture content, firmness, soluble solids concentration, weight, volume, and qualitative and quantitative changes in glucose, fructose, and sucrose content. Fruit ripening occurred between 40 and 50 DAA as determined by maximized changes in the aforementioned quality attributes, and by fruit abscission at 50 DAA. Fruit senescence begins with decreases in: quality attributes, hypodermal-mesocarp plasma membrane H+-ATPase (E.C. 126.96.36.199) activity, and protein content, and by increases in: the total free sterol: total phospholipid ratio, and hypodermal-mesocarp lipoxygenase (E.C. 188.8.131.52) activity. Delineated growth and maturation physicochemical data of hybrid honeydew muskmelon fruit should be beneficial to the commercial harvest of mature fruits, which is necessary for maximizing honeydew fruit quality, extending shelf-life, and enhancing consumer satisfaction.
Hybrid honey dew muskmelon (Cucumis melo L. var. inodorus Naud.) fruit physiological maturity, the period of maximized or greatest compositional changes, occurs by 40 days after anthesis (DAA). Fruit maturity was determined by major changes in quality attributes: glucose, fructose, sucrose, and moisture content, firmness, mass, volume, and hypodermal-mesocarp plasma membrane specific H+-ATPase (E.C. 184.108.40.206) activity. Fruit ripening occurs by 50 DAA, as determined by additional changes in the mentioned quality attributes, and by fruit abscission at 50 DAA. Fruit senescence begins with decreases in almost all quality attributes, H+-ATPase activity, protein content, by the largest increase in the total free sterol : total phospholipid (FS:PL) ratio, and in hypodermal-mesocarp lipoxygenase (E.C. 220.127.116.11) activity. Physicochemical profiles of hybrid honey dew muskmelon fruit during growth and maturation should be useful to schedule commercial harvest of mature fruit, which is necessary for maximum honey dew fruit quality, extended shelf-life, and enhanced consumer satisfaction.
Polyamines are effective scavengers of activated oxygen free radicals produced by lipoxygenase (LOX) and phospholipase-D (PL-D). Activated oxygen free radicals cause peroxidative damage to membranes and hasten senescence. Exogenous polyamine spermidine (SPD) compared to spermine (SPM) at 1 mM or no polyamine was an effective inhibitor of honey dew (Cucumis melo L. var. inodorus) membrane peroxidation, as determined by malondialdehyde (MDA), following dark incubation for 6 or 48 hours of fully abscised fruit hypodermal mesocarp tissue. MDA levels in SPD-treated tissue was lowest in both 6 and 48 hours compared to SPM or no polyamine. SPD was effective in slowing lipid peroxidation as MDA was highly negatively correlated with the loss in total chlorophyll, plasma membrane H+ pumping ATPase activity, and microsomal phospholipid content (r = -0.89, -0.64 and -0.57, respectively). Both LOX and PL-D enzyme activities were not correlated with the total chlorophyll and microsomal membrane phospholipid losses or MDA levels, demonstrating that these enzymes act indirectly in the degradation of membranes through the production of lipid peroxidating free radicals. The results also demonstrate that the effect of polyamines as anti-senescence compounds is through direct inhibition of lipid peroxidation and not by affecting LOX or PL-D free radicle production.
This article examines the nutritional quality and human health benefits of melons, specifically, muskmelon or cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus Naud.) and honeydew melon (Cucumis melo L. var. inodorus Naud.) types. Melons are naturally low in fat and sodium, have no cholesterol, and provide many essential nutrients such as potassium, in addition to being a rich source of beta-carotene and vitamin C. Although melons are an excellent source of some nutrients, they are low in others, like vitamin E, folic acid, iron, and calcium. Since the U.S. diet is already high in fat and protein content, melons should be included in everyone's diet, along with five to eight servings per day of a variety of other fruit and vegetables, to ensure adequate nutrition, promote individual health, and reduce one's risk of cancer and certain other chronic diseases.
Within the Cucurbitaceae are two genera, Cucumis and Citrullus (muskmelons and watermelon, respectively), with sweet-tasting fruits. Per-capita consumption of these two genera rank melons (11.6 kg) second only to bananas (12.6 kg) as the most-consumed fruit in the United States. Consumption of melons, especially muskmelon and honey dew fruits, is significant from the standpoint of their nutritional benefits to humans. Orange-fleshed melons provide a person with 100% of their daily requirement of vitamins A and C. Melons also are a significant source of nutrients: sugars, dietary fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, and “phytochemicals.” Phytochemicals are compounds not presently recognized as having nutrient value. Thirty-eight known phytochemicals are in melons and have preventive properties in addition to anti-cancer attributes. Use of beta-carotene-rich melons is important in chemopreventive trials. Melon production and genetic factors may affect human health-beneficial nutrient and phytochemical quality attributes.
Changes in morphology of epidermal layers and in permeability of mesocarp membranes of ‘Honey Dew’ and netted muskmelon fruits (Cucumis melo L., var. inodorus and reticulatus, respectively) were compared for 10 through 60 days after anthesis to relate tissue changes to storage life. Twenty-day-old netted muskmelon fruit developed lenticular tissue (net) over the entire melon surface. The muskmelon net had become fissured by 50 days after anthesis (10 days postharvest). ‘Honey Dew’ fruit did not develop lenticular tissue nor did the epidermis become fissured. ‘Honey Dew’ and netted muskmelon fruits had similar membrane electrolyte leakage characteristics (60% ± 3%) when harvested ripe, but, after 10 days at 20°C, electrolyte leakage was 70% and 87%, respectively. Membrane electrolyte leakage for both cultivars had a high regression coefficient (R 2 = 0.97) with fruit maturation and postharvest senescence. An intact epidermis indirectly affected mesocarp membrane permeability and perhaps contributed to differences in muskmelon cultivar storage life.