Chitosan Coating Enriched With Ruta graveolens L. Essential Oil Reduces Postharvest Anthracnose of Papaya (Carica papaya L.) and Modulates Defense-Related Gene Expression

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作者: L. Landi, Y. Peralta-Ruiz, C. Chaves‐López, G. Romanazzi
刊名: Frontiers in Plant Science
出版年: 2021-11-11
摘要: Anthracnose of papaya (Carica papaya L.) caused by the fungus Colletotrichum spp. is one of the most economically important postharvest diseases. Coating with chitosan (CS) and Ruta graveolens essential oil (REO) might represent a novel eco-friendly method to prevent postharvest anthracnose infection. These compounds show both antimicrobial and eliciting activities, although the molecular mechanisms in papaya have not been investigated to date. In this study, the effectiveness of CS and REO alone and combined (CS-REO) on postharvest anthracnose of papaya fruit during storage were investigated, along with the expression of selected genes involved in plant defense mechanisms. Anthracnose incidence was reduced with CS, REO, and CS-REO emulsions after 9 days storage at 25°C, by 8, 21, and 37%, respectively, with disease severity reduced by 22, 29, and 44%, respectively. Thus, McKinney’s decay index was reduced by 22, 30, and 44%, respectively. A protocol based on reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) was validated for 17 papaya target genes linked to signaling pathways that regulate plant defense, pathogenesis-related protein, cell wall-degrading enzymes, oxidative stress, abiotic stress, and the phenylpropanoid pathway. CS induced gene upregulation mainly at 6 h posttreatment (hpt) and 48 hpt, while REO induced the highest upregulation at 0.5 hpt, which then decreased over time. Furthermore, CS-REO treatment delayed gene upregulation by REO alone, from 0.5 to 6 hpt, and kept that longer over time. This study suggests that CS stabilizes the volatile and/or hydrophobic substances of highly reactive essential oils. The additive effects of CS and REO were able to reduce postharvest decay and affect gene expression in papaya fruit.
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