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Mohamad-Hossein Sheikh-Mohamadi, Nematollah Etemadi, Ali Nikbakht, Mostafa Farajpour, Mostafa Arab and Mohammad Mahdi Majidi

. Fig. 4. Effect of salinity stress on catalase (CAT, A ) activity, peroxidase (POD, B ) activity, and ascorbate peroxidase (APX, C ) activity of 21 plants including 20 Iranian wheatgrass genotypes (AD1 to AC6) and tall fescue (FA). Cluster and PCA

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Shiow Y. Wang and Miklos Faust

The ability of low and high temperatures to overcome endo- and paradormancy along with the possible mechanisms involved in these treatments for breaking apple (Malus domestica Borkh. `Anna') bud dormancy were studied. All these treatments induced budbreak in paradormant (in July) and endodormant (in October) buds. Cold and heat treatments increased ascorbic acid, the reduced the form of glutathione (GSH), total glutathione, total non-protein thiol and non-glutathione thiol, whereas dehydroascorbic acid and oxidized glutathione (GSSG) decreased. The treatments also increased the ascorbic acid: dehydroascorbate and GSH: GSSG ratios and the activity of ascorbate-free radical reductase, ascorbate peroxidase, dehydroascorbate reductase, ascorbate oxidase, and glutathione reductase in the buds. These results indicate that budbreak induced by cold and heat treatments is associated with the removal of free radicals through activated peroxide-scavenging systems.

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Claire Hébert and Claude Willemot

Plant antioxidants have gained considerable interest because of their importance for the preservation of produce and also because of their therapeutic properties. There is increasing evidence that these compounds protect plant tissues from stress and that they delay senescence. Seven strawberry cultivars were analyzed to investigate the possible relationship between their antioxidant potential and fruit shelf-life. The antioxidant defense systems studied were free radical scavenging enzymes (SOD, catalase, glutathione reductase, GSH, ascorbate peroxidase, ascorbate free radical reductase), ascorbic acid, and ellagic acid. Enzyme assays were performed using spectrophotometric kinetic measurements. Ascorbic acid and ellagic acid were determined by HPLC. The antioxidant potential of the tissues had an incidence on fruit quality and shelf-life. The impact of these antioxidative parameters will be discussed with respect to breeding criteria for reduced perishability of strawberries.

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Yong In Kuk, Jae Hong Lee, Han Yong Kim, Soon Ju Chung, Gap Chae Chung, Ja Ock Guh, Hee Jae Lee and Nilda R. Burgos

To determine whether chilling tolerance is related to cold acclimation, changes in physiological responses and activity of antioxidative enzymes were investigated in leaves of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) grown in controlled environments. Plants were exposed to 15 °C (cold-acclimated) or 25 °C (nonacclimated) for 3 days, under 50 μmol·m-2·s-1 photosynthetic photon flux and 70% relative humidity. Plants were then exposed to 8 °C chilling temperature for 3 days, and allowed to recover in a growth chamber at 25 °C for 3 days. Measurements of leaf water content, cellular leakage, lipid peroxidation, chlorophyll a fluorescence, and quantum yield showed that cold-acclimated leaves were less affected by chilling compared to nonacclimated leaves. Cold-acclimated leaves recovered faster than nonacclimated leaves with regard to all variables examined. Catalase and ascorbate peroxidase activities were induced in cold-acclimated leaves, but not in nonacclimated leaves. These data indicate that cold acclimation increased chilling tolerance of cucumber in association with antioxidative enzymes.

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S. Y. Wang, H. J. Jiao and M. Faust

An increase in ascorbic acid, reduced form of glutathione (GSH), total glutathione, total non-protein thiol (NPSH) and non-glutathione thiol (RSH) occurred as a result of induction by thidiazuron during bud break, whereas dehydroascorbic acid and oxidized glutathione (GSSG) decreased during the same period. Thidiazuron also enhanced the ratio of GSH/GSSG, and activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate free radical reductase (AFR), ascorbate peroxidase (POD), dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR), ascorbate oxidase (AAO), and glutathione reductase (GR). The ascorbic acid content and the activities of catalase, SOD, AFR, POD, AAO, and DHAR peaked when buds were in the side green or green tip stage just prior to the start of rapid expansion, and declined thereafter. The GSH, NPSH, RSH, ratio of GSH/GSSG, and activity of GR increased steadily during bud development.

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Floyd M. Woods*, William A. Dozier Jr., Robert C. Ebel, David G. Himelrick, Cecilia Mosjidis, Raymond H. Thomas, Bryan S. Wilkins and James A. Pitts

The relationship between fruit maturation and accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H2 O2), lipid peroxidation, ethylene (C2 H4) production, antioxidant activity (hydrophilic, lipophilic and total) and the antioxidant enzyme ascorbate peroxidase (APX, EC in fruit pericarp tissue of `Chandler' (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) strawberry were measured. `Chandler' fruit pericarp maturation and ripening were accompanied by a decline in H2 O2 content early in fruit development followed by a rapid accumulation. An increase in membrane lipid peroxidation (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, TBARS) coincided with accumulation of H2 O2, which preceded a rise in C2 H4 production. In general, antioxidant activity declined as fruit matured and ripened. APX enzyme activity increased by 2-fold and peaked at the pink stage of development and then gradually declined with ripening. H2 O2 may serve as a signal molecule to initiate the cascade of oxidative processes during maturation and ripening. APX enzyme activity during maturation and ripening was not substantial and thus, may not have a role in alleviating accumulation of H2 O2 and subsequent events related to oxidative senescence in fruit pericarp. To our knowledge, this is the first study to present fractionated antioxidant activities (HAA, LAA and TAA) from strawberry pericarp as assessed by the ABTS∼+ radical cation assay. A fundamental understanding of the mechanisms involved in the senescent related-oxidative changes during strawberry fruit ontogeny in relation to quality and nutrition is discussed.

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Brandon Smith* and Lailiang Cheng

One-year-old `Concord' grapevines (Vitis labrusca L.) were fertigated twice weekly for 11 weeks with a complete nutrient solution containing 1, 10, 20, 50 or 100 μmol iron (Fe) from ferric ethylenediamine di (o-hydroxyphenylacetic) acid (Fe-EDDHA). Leaf total Fe content did not increase in response to Fe supply, however both “active” Fe (extracted with 2, 2'-dipyridyl) and chlorophyll (Chl) content increased as applied Fe increased. At the lowest active Fe level, leaf absorptance and maximum PSII efficiency (Fv/Fm) were slightly decreased, and non-photochemical quenching was significantly greater. PSII quantum efficiency decreased curvilinearly as active Fe content decreased. On a Chl basis, the xanthophyll cycle pool size, lutein, and beta-carotene increased curvilinearly as active Fe decreased, and neoxanthin increased at the lowest Fe level. Activities of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, monodehydroascorbate reductase, dehydroascorbate reductase, and glutathione reductase followed a similar trend and increased under Fe deficiency, when expressed on a Chl basis. Antioxidant metabolites also increased in response to Fe limitation. On a Chl basis, ascorbate (AsA), dehydroascorbate (DAsA), reduced glutathione (GSH) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG) content was greater at the lowest active Fe levels. We did not find a difference in the ratio of AsA to DAsA or GSH to GSSG. In conclusion, both photoprotective mechanisms, xanthophyll cyle-dependent thermal dissipation and the ascorbate-glutatione antioxidant system, are enhanced in response to iron deficiency to cope with excess absorbed light.

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Chien Wang, Korakot Chanjirakul, Shiow Wang and Jingtair Siriphanich

The effect of naturally occurring volatile compounds on decay and antioxidant activities in fresh-cut papayas (Carica papaya L.) was studied. Exposure to methyl jasmonate (MJ), methyl salicylate (MS) or allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) substantially delayed the onset and reduced the severity of decay during and after storage at 5 °C. Treatment with tea tree oil (TTO) or ethanol (ETOH) was also effective in retarding decay, but to a lesser extent. No beneficial effect was obtained with the use of vinegar vapor. MJ and MS increased oxygen radical absorbance capacity and elevated the activities of several antioxidant enzymes, including glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase, guaiacol peroxidase, ascorbate peroxidase, monodehydroascorbate reductase, dehydroascorbate reductase, and superoxide dismutase. The nonenzyme components in the ascorbate-glutathione cycle were also increased by MJ and MS treatments, including ascorbate and glutathione. It is possible that MJ and MS treatments enhanced the antioxidant system and increased the resistance of tissue to decay. However, while AITC also suppressed the development of decay in papaya slices, it had little effect on antioxidant levels and antioxidant enzyme activities. Apparently, AITC exerted its effect through different mechanisms. Studies are in progress to determine if AITC inhibits decay directly via its antimicrobial properties.

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Rui Zhou*, Lailiang Cheng and Abhaya Dandekar

Sorbitol is the primary photosynthetic end product in the leaves of many tree fruit species in the Rosaceae family, but its physiological role remains unclear. In this study, we determined the effect of decreased sorbitol synthesis on the antioxidant system that scavenges reactive oxygen species (ROS) in apple leaves. Sorbitol synthesis was decreased in apple leaves by antisense inhibition of aldose-6-phosphate reductase activity. Dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR), glutathione reductase, and catalase (CAT) activities increased in the leaves of the transgenic plants with decreased sorbitol synthesis, whereas superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, NADH dependent and NADPH dependent monodehydroascorbate reductase activity did not show significant changes. Ascorbate and glutathione concentrations were higher in leaves of the transgenic plants compared with the control. The effect of decreased sorbitol synthesis on the antioxidant enzyme activity was dependent on leaf developmental stages. Larger changes in the enzyme activities of CAT, DHAR, and GR were observed in the old leaves than in the young leaves. These results suggest that sorbitol may play a role in ROS scavenging in apple leaves.

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D. Mark Hodges, Gene E. Lester, Robert D. Meyer, Vivian E. Willmets and Michele L. Elliot

Consumption of phytochemicals has been associated with reduced risks of human health dysfunctions such as cancers and heart disease. Such information has led to increased sales of fruits and vegetables. For example, in the United States, an estimated 23% increase in melon consumption (up to 13.2 lbs/capita/annum) has been recorded over 16 years. However, some health issues have been attributed to cantaloupe due to bacteria such as Salmonella attaching to inaccessible sites, such as the rind netting. Honeydew melons do not have a netted rind. The purpose of this study was to compare concentrations of antioxidants between cantaloupe and both green- and orange-fleshed honeydew melons during 14 days of storage to determine if orange-fleshed honeydew melon would represent a feasible alterative to cantaloupe to the increasingly health/food safety-conscious consumer. Cantaloupe (`Cruiser'; C), green-fleshed Honeydew (`HoneyBrew'; HB), and orange-fleshed Honeydew (`OrangeDew'; OD) melons were harvested in Texas at the beginning and at the end of the production season. β-carotene content was highest in OD, followed by C; no β-carotene was detected in HB. β-carotene levels did not change during storage. Phenolic levels increased in all three melon species during storage, whereas total ascorbate content declined in OD and in early harvest HB. Ascorbate peroxidase activities were lowest in OD, perhaps due to the lower ascorbate levels; little difference between the melon species in activities of the other ascorbate-associated enzymes were observed. Based on the phytochemicals measured in this study, choosing non-netted OD over netted C in order to reduce potential exposure to pathogens would not represent a less healthy food choice.