Journal of Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 431–437 | Cite as

Hormonal Profiling Reveals a Hormonal Cross-Talk During Fruit Decay in Sweet Cherries

  • Verónica Tijero
  • Natalia Teribia
  • Sergi Munné-BoschEmail author


Although fruit decay in sweet cherries has been studied in some detail, information is still scarce about the possible role of phytohormones during postharvest. Here, we examined whether or not changes in endogenous contents of phytohormones occur during fruit decay of sweet cherries stored at room temperature. We evaluated (i) the endogenous variations in the contents of phytohormones, including abscisic acid, gibberellins, cytokinins, auxin, jasmonic acid, salicylic acid and melatonin, by UHPLC–ESI–MS/MS during fruit decay at room temperature, and (ii) to what extent these changes in phytohormone contents were associated with alterations in water contents, soluble sugars and acidity. Endogenous contents of abscisic acid, cytokinins and gibberellins decreased in parallel with fruit decay, thus suggesting a protective role against over-ripening for these compounds. Among cytokinins and gibberellins, free cytokinin bases (zeatin and 2-isopentenyl adenine, rather than their ribosides), and gibberellin 3, changed in parallel with fruit decay. It is concluded that abscisic acid, free cytokinin bases and gibberellin 3 may prevent fruit decay during storage of sweet cherries at room temperature.


Acidity Fruit decay Hormone profiling LC–MS/MS Over-ripening 



This study was funded by the prize ICREA Academia awarded to SM-B by the Generalitat de Catalunya. We are very grateful to Paula Muñoz (University of Barcelona) and the staff of the Serveis Científico-Tècnics of the University of Barcelona for technical assistance.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. Alique R, Zamorano JP, Martínez MA, Alonso J (2005) Effect of heat and cold treatments on respiratory metabolism and shelf-life of sweet cherry, type picota cv. Ambrunés Postharvest Biol Technol 35:153–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Belge B, Llovera M, Comabella E, Gatius F, Guillén P, Graell J et al (2014) Characterization of cuticle composition after cold storage of “Celeste” and “Somerset” sweet cherry fruit. J Agric Food Chem 62:8722–8729CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bernalte MJ, Sabio E, Hernández MT, Gervasini C (2003) Influence of storage delay on quality of “Van” sweet cherry. Postharvest Biol Technol 28:303–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chockchaisawasdee S, Golding JB, Vuong QV, Papoutsis K, Stathopoulos CE (2016) Sweet cherry: cmposition, postharvest preservation, processing and trends for its future use. Trends Food Sci Technol 55:72–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Choi C, Wiersma PA, Toivonen P, Kappel F (2002) Fruit growth, firmness and cell wall hydrolytic enzyme activity during development of sweet cherry fruit treated with gibberellic acid (GA3). J Hortic Sci Biotechnol 77:615–621CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Correia S, Schouten R, Silva AP, Gonçalves B (2017) Factors affecting quality and health promoting compounds during growth and postharvest life of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.). Front Plant Sci 8:216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crisosto CH, Crisosto GM, Metheney P (2003) Consumers acceptance of “Brooks” and “Bing” cherries is mainly dependent on fruit SCC and visual skin color. Postharvest Biol Technol 28:159–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Davies C, Robinson SP (2000) Differential screening indicates a dramatic change in mRNA profiles during grape berry ripening: cloning and characterisation of cDNAs encoding putative cell wall and stress response proteins. Plant Physiol 122:803–812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Habib M, Bhat M, Dar BBN, Wani AA (2015) Sweet cherries from farm to table: A review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 57:1638–1649CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kappel F, Toivonen P, McKenzie DL, Stan S (2002) Storage characteristics of new sweet cherry cultivars. Hortic Sci 37:139–143Google Scholar
  11. Koyuncu MA, Dilmaçünal T, Savran HE, Yildirim A (2008) Shelf life quality of ‘Bing’ sweet cherry following preharvest treatment with gibberellic acid (GA3). Acta Hortic 795:825–830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kumar R, Khurana A, Sharma AK (2014) Role of plant hormones and their interplay in development and ripening of fleshy fruits. J Exp Bot 65:4561–4575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Latimer DW (2012) Official methods of analysis of AOAC International, 19th edn. AOAC International, RockvilleGoogle Scholar
  14. Li L, Li D, Luo Z, Huang X, Li X (2016) Proteomic response and quality maintenance in postharvest fruit of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) to exogenous cytokinin. Sci Rep 6:27094CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ludford PM (1987) Postharvest hormone changes in vegetables and fruit. In: Davies PJ (ed) Plant hormones and their role in plant growth and development. Springer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  16. Massolo JF, Lemoine ML, Chaves AR, Concellón A, Vicente AR (2014) Benzyl-aminopurine (BAP) treatments delay cell walldegradation and softening, improving quality maintenance ofrefrigerated summer squash. Postharvest Biol Technol 93:122–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. McCune LM, Kubota C, Stendell-Hollis NR, Thomson CA (2011) Cherries and health: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 51:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mok DWS, Mok MC (2001) Cytokinin metabolism and action. Annu Rev Plant Biol Plant Mol Biol 52:89–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Müller M, Munné-Bosch S (2011) Rapid and sensitive hormonal profiling of complex plant samples by liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Plant Meth 7:37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ozkan Y, Ucar M, Yildiz K, Ozturk B (2016) Pre-harvest gibberellic acid (GA3) treatments play an important role on bioactive compounds and fruit quality of sweet cherry cultivars. Sci Hortic 211:358–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Serrano M, Guillén F, Martínez-Romero D, Castillo S, Valero D (2005) Chemical constituents and antioxidant activity of sweet cherryat different ripening stages. J Agric Food Chem 53:2741–2745CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Siriphollakul P, Niyomlao W, Kanlayanarat S (2006) Antitranspirants maintain freshness and improve storage life of rambutan (Nephellium lappaceum L.) fruit. Acta Hortic 712:611–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Teribia N, Tijero V, Munné-Bosch S (2016) Linking hormonal profiles with variations in sugar and anthocyanin contents during the natural development and ripening of sweet cherries. New Biotechnol 33:824–833CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tijero V, Teribia N, Muñoz P, Munné-Bosch S (2016) Implication of abscisic acid on ripening and quality in sweet cherries: differential effects during pre- and post-harvest. Front Plant Sci 7:602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Usenik V, Fabcic J, Stampar F (2008) Sugars, organic acids, phenolic composition and antioxidant activity of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.). Food Chem 107:185–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wang Y, Einhorn TC (2017) Optimizing preharvest application rate of gibberellic acid (GA3) and homobrassinolide (HBR) to improve shipping quality of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L). Acta Hortic 1161:411–416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wani AA, Singh P, Gul K, Wani MH, Langowski HC (2014) Sweet cherry (Prunus avium): Critical factors affecting the composition and shelf life. Food Pack Shelf Life 1:86–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Yao H, Tian S (2005) Effects of pre- and post-harvest application of salicylic acid or methyl jasmonate on inducing disease resistance of sweet cherry fruit in storage. Postharvest Biol Technol 35:253–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of BiologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations