Nitric oxide-dependent regulation of sweet pepper fruit ripening.J Exp Bot. 2019 08 29; 70(17):4557-4570.JE
Ripening is a complex physiological process that involves changes in reactive nitrogen and oxygen species that govern the shelf-life and quality of fruits. Nitric oxide (NO)-dependent changes in the sweet pepper fruit transcriptome were determined by treating fruits at the initial breaking point stage with NO gas. Fruits were also harvested at the immature (green) and ripe (red) stages. Fruit ripening in the absence of NO resulted in changes in the abundance of 8805 transcripts whose function could be identified. Among these, functional clusters associated with reactive oxygen/nitrogen species and lipid metabolism were significantly modified. NO treatment resulted in the differential expression of 498 genes framed within these functional categories. Biochemical analysis revealed that NO treatment resulted in changes in fatty acid profiling, glutathione and proline contents, and the extent of lipid peroxidation, as well as increases in the activity of ascorbate peroxidase and lipoxygenase. These data provide supporting evidence for the crucial role of NO in the ripening of pepper fruit.