Climacteric fruits

Climacteric fruits

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Climacteric fruits: what are those fruits that continue to ripen even after harvest. The role of ethylene in the climacteric peak.

They are definedclimacteric fruits those fruits that ripen even after being detached from the plant. The phenomenon of maturation is induced by a gaseous substance known as ethylene.

Ethylene in plants and fruit ripening

Ethylene is defined,generally, a plant hormone. In reality, plants do not have "hormones" as intended for the animal kingdom (and for us human beings), however the role is similar: they are molecules that act assignalin inducing or inhibiting certain responses.

L'ethylene is involved in numerous processes of plant growth and development, among these is theseed germination, senescence and the abscission of flowers, leaves and fruits (it explains, among other things, why leaves fall in autumn) andfruit ripening.

Ethylene can be produced by all plant organs. It's about agaseous substancewhich spreads easily in the tissues and can disperse in the air.

The phenomenon ofleaf abscissionit is regulated by ethylene and auxins. When, in the leaves, the levels of auxins decrease, the sensitivity of the leaf to ethylene increases which will thus be able to trigger the phase of leaf fall but only after the cytokines have recovered all the nutrients, including chlorophyll (that's why leaves turn yellow before falling). How is ethylene responsible for leaf fall? Induces thedemolitioncell walls in the abscission area.

You might be interested in:plant cell wall.

Auxins, cytokines and ethylene are just some of the signal molecules (or more improperly plant hormones)used by plants.

Ethylene can interrupt the dormancy of cereal seeds, tubers and bulbs. Based on the external and internal conditions of the plant, it can promote thickening of the stem and roots or promote growth by distension.

Therefruit ripeningis related to the so-calledpeak of ethylene which coincides with abreathing peak.In this phase, the starches stored in the vacuoles of the plant cells are transformed intosugars(breathing prevails) so as to complete the ripening of the fruits.

Climacteric fruits, what they are

As stated, they are those fruits that manage to ripen even once detached from the plant. To offer you a short list I point out:

  • apple,
  • apricot,
  • persimmon,
  • avocado,
  • banana,
  • FIG,
  • Kiwi,
  • fishing,
  • pear,
  • plum,
  • watermelon,
  • melon,
  • tomato (not all varieties),
  • nashi,
  • mango,
  • papaya…

There are also some said fruitsaclimating materials. THEaclimatic fruitsthey are those that, if detached from the plant, do not reach maturity. We are talking about olives, grapes, figs, raspberries, cucumbers, cherries, strawberries, citrus fruits, pineapples, peppers and most of fruits.

Development of ethylene in climacteric fruits

In the fruits we eat, thematurationincludes a complex series of physico-chemical variations. At a macroscopic level we realize this because the tissues begin to soften, while from an organoleptic point of view, the hydrolysis of the friend with the consequent accumulation of soluble sugars, increases the sweetness of the fruit which will acquire aromas and pigments.

Increased respiration: climacteric peak

Fruits that ripen detached from the plant are characterized by asharp increase in breathingdefinedclimacteric peakwhich occurs at the beginning of the maturation itself.

This increase in respiration is induced, in turn, by a sudden increase in the production of ethylene, stimulated byautocatarsi(in practice, ethylene itself stimulates the production of itself!).

Breathing is a cascade of chemical reactions that leads to the demolition of starch. The starch is hydrolyzed in the plant cell to obtain glucose. This simple sugar, enzymatically, is then partly transformed into fructose ("fruit sugar") and other sugars.

Ethylene in fruits and more

Ethylene is widely used in the agri-food industry.

Have you ever wondered why bouquets bought from the florist last so long while the cut flowers from your garden seem to wither too quickly? In floriculture, to slow down the senescence and withering of cut flowers, ethylene inhibitors such as silver ion and 1-methylcyclopropene, commercially known as EthylBloc, are administered.

To store bananas, apples and othersclimacteric fruits, oxygen-free environments are used, with high concentrations of carbon dioxide which, together with low temperatures, inhibit the production of ethylene preventing theripening of climacteric fruits.

On the contrary, the administration of ethylene is used to accelerate the ripening of climacteric fruits such as tomatoes, peaches…. or to promote the abscission of cotton fruit ... also to synchronize flowering and fruiting in pineapple plantations so as to export large quantities of the product all together and avoid the "graded harvest" typical of domestic gardens and small agricultural realities.

Video: Palliflex advanced (July 2022).


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  3. Matlal

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  4. Brakus

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