Effects of Exogenous Application of Melatonin on Quality and Sugar Metabolism in ‘Zaosu’ Pear Fruit

  • Jianlong Liu
  • Rongrong Yue
  • Min Si
  • Meng Wu
  • Liu Cong
  • Rui Zhai
  • Chengquan Yang
  • Zhigang Wang
  • Fengwang Ma
  • Lingfei XuEmail author


Melatonin (MT) modulates a wide range of physiological functions with pleiotropic effects in plants. In this study, we studied the effect of exogenous applications of MT to pear trees on indicators of pear fruit quality. The results showed that MT increased the size of pear fruit by improving the net photosynthetic rate and maximal quantum efficiency of photosystem II photochemistry during the late stage of pear fruit development. Overall, MT increased fruit weight by 47.85% compared to the control. During the period of fruit maturation, MT increased the content of soluble sugars, particularly sucrose and sorbitol, likely as a result of improved starch accumulation. Expression levels of the invertase gene Pbinvertase 1/2 were lower in MT-treated fruit that resulted in lower enzyme activity, whereas activity of sucrose phosphate synthase was greater due to enhanced levels of expression of PbSPS1/2/3. Thus, application of melatonin improved sucrose content. This study shows that the application of MT to pear trees may be utilized for the production of larger and sweeter fruit of higher economic value.


Pear Melatonin Photosystem II Net photosynthetic rate Pbinvertase 1/2 PbSPS1/2/3 



This work was supported by the China Agriculture Research System (CARS-28-45) and Weinan Experimental Station foundation of Northwest A&F University.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

344_2019_9921_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianlong Liu
    • 1
  • Rongrong Yue
    • 1
  • Min Si
    • 1
  • Meng Wu
    • 1
  • Liu Cong
    • 1
  • Rui Zhai
    • 1
  • Chengquan Yang
    • 1
  • Zhigang Wang
    • 1
  • Fengwang Ma
    • 1
  • Lingfei Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of HorticultureNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina

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