‘Fuyu’ perisimmon fruit were treated with 500 nL·L−1 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) for 24 h at 20 °C and then stored at 4 °C for 45 days to investigate the effects of 1-MCP on chilling injury (CI) during storage at 4 °C. Persimmon fruit developed CI, manifested as rapid softening and external and internal browning. Injury symptoms were reduced by 1-MCP treatment. 1-MCP also delayed increases in respiration and ethylene production. Compared with control fruit, 1-MCP-treated fruit exhibited increased superoxide dismutase and catalase activities within the initial storage period and lower membrane permeability, malondialdehyde content, and peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase activities throughout the entire storage period. These results suggest that reduction of CI symptoms in persimmon fruit in response to 1-MCP treatment may be attributed to altered oxidative status.
Expansins are proteins that have been reported to contribute to fruit softening. In this study, an expansin gene, CDK-Exp3, was identified from persimmon fruit, and the mRNA accumulation of CDK-Exp3 during postharvest softening was examined using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Sequence analysis showed that CDK-Exp3 contained a putative open reading frame of 765 bp encoding a polypeptide of 254 amino acid residues, which had all the characteristics of α-expansin. As fruit softened, the expression of CDK-Exp3 increased dramatically within the initial 8-day ripening at 20 °C followed by a gradual decline at the late stages of ripening. The expression of CDK-Exp3 was inhibited by gibberellic acid, and the maximum transcript abundance was delayed by 20 days compared with that of the control fruit. The results suggest that CDK-Exp3 might be closely related to softening of persimmon fruit during postharvest ripening.