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Carolyn E. Lister, Jane E. Lancaster, and John R.L. Walker

Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activity was measured in a range of New Zealand-grown apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) cultivars at three stages of fruit development. Anthocyanin and total flavonoid levels were also measured (by HPLC) in the same fruit. There was wide variation in the level of PAL activity, anthocyanin and total flavonoid levels in different apple cultivars and at different stages of development. There was no apparent correlation between average PAL activity over the three developmental stages and final anthocyanin concentration (r = 0.34, P > 0.1), but there was significant correlation between average PAL activity over the three developmental stages and the final concentration of total flavonoids (r = 0.75, P < 0.02). An inhibitor, PAL-IS, was also assayed in the same fruit but no correlation was found between PAL-IS and final anthocyanin levels (r = -0.30, P > 0.1) or total flavonoid levels (r = 0.15, P > 0.1). These results suggest that PAL activity has an influence on total flavonoid levels in the fruit but that PAL-IS does not. Anthocyanin levels are likely controlled at a point in the flavonoid pathway other than PAL or PAL-IS.

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Donald T. Krizek, Abha Upadhyaya, and Roman M. Mirecki

UV-B (UV) induced changes in PAL activity and UV-absorbing compounds were followed in cotton after 1 to 9 days and in cucumber after 1 to 14 days. UV increased PAL activity in the lower hypocotyl (LH) of cotton but had no effect on the upper portion. In general, PAL decreased with time, but UV treatment slowed that decline in the LH portion. Anthocyanin concentration declined with time in both portions. In cucumber cotyledons, UV had no effect on PAL. In cucumber leaves, there was no overall effect of UV; but there were significant interactions with time. In both cotyledons and in leaves, PAL decreased with time. As in LH cotton tissue, UV slowed the rate of decline of PAL in cucumber leaves. In leaves, UV absorbing compounds (at 330 nm) were increased by UV; in cotyledons, the increase in absorption was greater in controls than in UV-B irradiated seedlings. In cotton, changes in anthocyanins mirrored those in PAL, this was not the case for UV absorbing compounds in either species.

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R.E. McDonald, W.R. Miller, and T.G. McCollum

Irradiation is being evaluated as a quarantine treatment of grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf. `Marsh'), but it can cause damage to the fruit. Research was conducted to determine if preirradiation heat treatments would improve fruit tolerance to irradiation as they improve tolerance to low temperature injury and to determine if canopy position influenced fruit tolerance to irradiation. Initially, grapefruit were irradiated at 0 or 2.0 kGy at a dose rate of 0.14 kGy·min-1 and selected biochemical changes were monitored over time. There was a marked increase in phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activity following irradiation. Maximum activity (≈18-fold increase) was attained 24 hours after irradiation. Subsequently, grapefruit were harvested from interior and exterior canopy positions and irradiated at 0 or 1.0 kGy at a dose rate of 0.15 kGy·min-1 before storage for 4 weeks at 10 °C. Following storage, pitting of flavedo was the most evident condition defect noted as a result of irradiation. Pitting was observed on 27% and 15% of irradiated exterior and interior canopy fruit, respectively, whereas there was no pitting on nonirradiated fruit. Heat treatment before irradiation decreased susceptibility of fruit to damage. Pitting was 26%, 19%, and 17% when fruit were held 2 hours at 20 (ambient), 38 or 42 °C, respectively. Irradiation-induced PAL activity was reduced by temperature conditioning at 38 or 42 °C. Exterior canopy fruit flavedo contained higher levels of total phenols, including flavanols and coumarins compared with interior canopy fruit. Deposition of lignin was not related to canopy position. Neither irradiation nor heat treatment had an effect on total phenols or lignin deposition. Generally, cholesterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, β-sitosterol, and isofucosterol were found to be higher in four steryl lipid fractions in exterior canopy fruit compared with interior canopy fruit. Irradiation increased campesterol in the free sterol and steryl glycoside fractions and decreased isofucosterol in the free sterol fraction. Heat treatments had no effect on individual sterol levels. It seems that irradiation causes a stress condition in the fruit, which leads to pitting of peel tissue. Heat treatment before irradiation reduced damaging effects of irradiation.

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C. Larrigaudiere, E. Pinto, and M. Vendrell

The differential effects of two color improving products, ethephon an ethylene-releasing compound, and seniphos, a nonethylene-releasing product, were studied on `Starking Delicious' apples (Malus domestica Borkh L.). Ethephon and seniphos were applied 2 or 3 weeks before commercial harvest. Ethephon- and seniphos-treated fruit showed a significant improvement of peel color associated with a sharp increase in anthocyanin content and chromaticity values. Color improvement in ethephon-treated apples occurred during the preharvest period and cold storage. The seniphos-treated fruit stopped color development in cold conditions. In comparison to the ethephon-treated fruit, the seniphos-treated apples showed lower internal ethylene concentrations and a ripening delay. Both treatments sharply increased the activity of phenylalanine-ammonia-lyase enzyme, which seemed to be the determining factor of color enhancement. The seniphos-treated apples compared to ethephon had higher fruit firmness and lower soluble solids concentrations. Anthocyanin biosynthesis may be enhanced by seniphos treatment without inducing ethylene production or other ripening associated changes. As a consequence, fruit treated with seniphos can be held longer in storage.

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Joongmin Shin, Bruce Harte, Janice Harte, and Kirk Dolan

-ray irradiation (0.15 to 0.50 kGy) reduced the microbial contamination on lettuce. The enzyme activity of fresh-cut products can be affected by irradiation. Specially, PAL activity is important because PAL is the main enzyme that causes the development of

Open access

Xia Chun-hua and Chen Jian-hua

., 1980 ). Anthocyanins, as flavonoid pigments that contribute red, purple, and blue coloration to plants, are one of the key factors determining the color of the spathe of Anthurium . Research shows that PAL activity is positively correlated with

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Zhiguo Ju

Three years of experiments were carried out with both Delicious fruit on trees and fruit skin discs. There were two peaks of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) activity during fruit development. One occurred in the fruitlet stage and the other in the fruit enlargement stage. The first peak was coincident with anthocyanin synthesis in fruitlet but the second peak did not correlate with pigment formation during maturation. In fact, PAL activity decreased gradually during fruit maturation and coloration. Treatment with L-α-aminooxy-B-phenylpropionic acid, a specific PAL inhibitor, decreased PAL activity in fruit and in skin discs 57% and 80%, respectively, but did not change anthocyanin content. Cycloheximide inhibited anthocyanin synthesis by 76% in fruit and 85% in skin discs, but did not significantly inhibit PAL activity. On the other hand, PAL activity was positively correlated with concentrations of simple phenols which were direct products of PAL and precursors for synthesis of lignin, anthocyanin and other flavonoid.

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Guiwen W. Cheng and Patrick J. Breen

Studies on regulation of production of phenolics in strawberry (Fragaria X ananassa Duch,) fruit were initiated by monitoring phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activity and levels of anthocyanins, flavonoids, tannins, and other soluble phenols throughout fruit ontogeny in `Tillikum'. PAL catalyzes the first step in the biosynthesis of phenylpropanoids, which are further modified into a wide variety of phenolic compounds. Peak in PAL activity (1 mol· s-1 = 1 kat) of 90 pkat· mg-1 protein was detected at 5 and 27 days after anthesis (DAA), when fruit was green and nearly ripe, respectively. PAL activity was only ≈10% of peak values in the white berry stage, when. fruit growth was most rapid. The second peak in PAL activity was followed by a rapid drop, to nearly zero in red-ripe fruit at 30 DAA. Total soluble phenols reached a maximum level soon after anthesis, just before the first peak in PAL activity, then declined to a low constant value well in advance of fruit ripening. Similar changes were observed in levels of tannins and flavonoids that, at anthesis, accounted for 44% and 51% of the soluble phenols, respectively. The concentration of anthocyanin was very low throughout most of fruit development, but beginning at 23 DAA it increased from <0.03 to >0.53 mg·g-1 fresh weight in 3 days. This accumulation paralleled the second rise in PAL activity. Accordingly, strawberry fruit have a developmental-dependent expression of PAL activity and accumulation of phenolic substances derived from the phenylpropanoid pathway.

Open access

Yan Bai, Wen Chen, Shou-Zan Liu, Lin-Yu Xu, Zhe Li, and Bin Liu

acid, 5 mmol/L β-mercaptoethanol, 0.5 mmol/L ascorbic acid, and 1% (w/v) polyvinylpyrrolidone]. Activities of CHI and chalcone synthase (CHS) were determined using the CHI/CHS Kit (Wanxiang Hengyuan Co., Ltd., Tianjin, China). PAL activity was measured

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M.A. Ritenour, M.E. Saltveit, and M.J. Ahrens

Russet spotting (RS) is an important postharvest disorder in Iceberg lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Previous studies showed that RS is induced by exposure to ∼5 ppm (ul/l) ethylene at ∼5C for 3 days and is characterized by the appearance of 1 to 2 mm diam. oval, brown sunken spots along the midrib. Increases in phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activity and phenolic content are highly correlated with RS development. Ethylene-induced PAL activity is much less at higher (12C) or lower (0C) temperatures. In this study isolated whole leaves were exposed to a log series of ethylene concentrations from 0.1 to 10 ppm at temperatures from 0.0C to 20C for up to 8 days. Tissue was transferred among these various treatments to investigate the kinetics of PAL induction, activity and deactivation, phenolic accumulation, and RS development. A subjective evaluation was then made of RS development using a 1 to 9 scoring system in which 1 was no RS, and then PAL activity and phenolic content were measured. Preliminary results indicate that ethylene-induced PAL activity was decreased more rapidly upon transfer to temperatures above 10C than to 0.0C. Accumulation of phenolic compounds and development of RS paralleled each other, and were positively related to PAL activity. Practical implications of these results will be discussed.