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Postharvest Chlorophyll Degradation and Oxidative Stress

  • Naoki YamauchiEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

A loss of green color from chlorophyll (Chl) degradation in harvested green horticultural crops is one of the main quality problems occurring during transportation and storage. In crops such as leafy vegetables, broccoli, and lime, initial Chl a degradation was thought to lead to chlorophyllide a formation by chlorophyllase, pheophytin a formation by Mg-dechelation, or 132-hydroxychlorophyll a formation by oxidation. Oxidative degradation of Chl a could be caused by the oxidation of phenolics, which have a OH group of p-position in the benzene ring, or that of unsaturated fatty acids with senescence.

Postharvest stresses, immoderate temperature, light, and desiccation seem to induce the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in horticultural produce. Those environmental stresses can accelerate the advancement of senescence, including Chl degradation. In contrast, generation of an appropriate amount of ROS by stress treatments induces the activation of antioxidant enzymes and an ascorbate-glutathione cycle, which eliminates hydrogen peroxide in the cell, and in consequence, suppression of postharvest Chl degradation of green horticultural crops. Thus, oxidative stress could be seen as a double-edged sword in association with the advancement of quality deterioration throughout transportation and storage of green crops.

Keywords

Antioxidant Chlorophyll degradation Quality deterioration Reactive oxygen species Senescence Stress treatments Transportation and storage 

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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of AgricultureYamaguchi UniversityYamaguchiJapan

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