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Postharvest ripening of lycopene-deficient tomato fruits treated with abscisic acid

Grant number: 22/16794-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2023
Effective date (End): March 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Crop Science
Principal Investigator:Ricardo Alfredo Kluge
Grantee:Giulia Belicuas Lopes
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


Carotenoids are important pigments in defining the aroma, flavor, appearance and nutritional properties of tomato fruit. In addition, they are also involved in the synthesis of important regulators of plant development, such as the hormones abscisic acid (ABA) and strigolactones. Tomato ripening is characterized by marked biochemical changes that culminate in fruit senescence. This process is initiated at the Mature green (MG) stage, where a transient peak of ABA production is preceded by a considerable increase in ethylene emission. Previous reports suggest a link between the carotenoid profile and the regulation of ripening, since the manipulation of their levels can alter ABA production and, consequently, ethylene emission. In our research group, we also observed this relationship in a carotenoid deficient mutant, which shows higher and earlier production of ethylene during postharvest ripening. Despite these reports, the manipulation of the carotenoid profile by industry and genetic engineering generally aims at improvements in the appearance and nutritional properties of tomato fruit, and there is still much to be explored about the relationship between the carotenoid profile and the fruit shelf life. Thus, in this project we intend to evaluate the effect of exogenous modification of ABA levels on ripening and shelf life of red tomato fruits compared to yellow fruits, deficient in lycopene. The results of this work can bring subside to the manipulation of carotenoids aiming not only for nutritional and appearance aspects, but also to improve fruit shelf life.

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