Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 625–641 | Cite as

Oxidative stress responses during cassava post-harvest physiological deterioration

  • Kim Reilly
  • Rocío Góomez-Váasquez
  • Holger Buschmann
  • Joe Tohme
  • John R. Beeching


A major constraint to the development of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) as a crop to both farmers and processors is its starchy storage roots’ rapid post-harvest deterioration, which can render it unpalatable and unmarketable within 24–72 h. An oxidative burst occurs within 15 min of the root being injured, that is followed by the altered regulation of genes, notably for catalase and peroxidase, related to the modulation of reactive oxygen species, and the accumulation of secondary metabolites, some of which show antioxidant properties. The interactions between these enzymes and compounds, in particular peroxidase and the coumarin, scopoletin, are largely confined to the vascular tissues where the visible symptoms of deterioration are observed. These, together with other data, are used to develop a tentative model of some of the principal events involved in the deterioration process.

Key words

cassava catalase peroxidase post-harvest physiological deterioration reactive oxygen species superoxide dismutase 



African cassava mosaic virus


amplified fragment length polymorphism




complementary deoxyribonucleic acid


International Centre for Tropical Agriculture


copper/zinc superoxide dismutase


3,3-diaminobenzidine tetrahydrochloride




iron superoxide dismutase


fresh weight




high-performance thin-layer chromatography


hypersensitive response


isoelectric focusing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis


marker-assisted selection


methyl jasmonate


manganese superoxide dismutase


nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (reduced form)


nitroblue tetrazolium


phenylalanine ammonia-lyase


programmed cell death


polymerase chain reaction




post-harvest physiological deterioration


quantitative trait loci


reactive oxygen species


room temperature


systemic acquired resistance


sodium dodecyl sulfate


superoxide dismutase


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim Reilly
    • 1
  • Rocío Góomez-Váasquez
    • 1
  • Holger Buschmann
    • 1
  • Joe Tohme
    • 2
  • John R. Beeching
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology & BiochemistryUniversity of BathBathUK
  2. 2.International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)CaliColombia

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