High-CO2 Treatment Prolongs the Postharvest Shelf Life of Strawberry Fruits by Reducing Decay and Cell Wall Degradation
Improved methods are needed to extend the shelf life of strawberry fruits. The objective of this study was to determine the postharvest physiological mechanism of high-CO2 treatment in strawberries. Harvested strawberries were stored at 10 C after 3 h of exposure to a treatment with 30% CO2 or air. Pectin and gene expression levels related to cell wall degradation were measured to assess the high-CO2 effects on the cell wall and lipid metabolism. Strawberries subjected to high-CO2 treatment presented higher pectin content and firmness and lower decay than those of control fruits. Genes encoding cell wall-degrading enzymes (pectin methylesterase, polygalacturonase, and pectate lyase) were downregulated after high-CO2 treatment. High-CO2 induced the expression of oligogalacturonides, thereby conferring defense against Botrytis cinerea in strawberry fruits, and lowering the decay incidence at seven days after its inoculation. Our findings suggest that high-CO2 treatment can maintain strawberry quality by reducing decay and cell wall degradation.
The full article appeared on the Foods website at https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/10/7/1649]]>