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Mechanism that works for prolonging shelf-life of tomatoes

Mechanism that works for prolonging shelf-life of tomatoes

In an article entitled , “Anthocyanins Double the Shelf Life of Tomatoes by Delaying Over-ripening and Reducing Susceptibility to Gray Mold,” published in May 2013 issue of Current Biology 23:1094-1100, Cathie Martin  at John Innes Centre, Norwich, and her 11 associates affiliated to two Res. Centers in Italy and one in Spain, report that the shelf life of tomatoes can be extended. The researchers have shown that processes that delay ripening are suppressed by anthocyanin accumulation and susceptibility to Botrytis cinerea, one of the most important postharvest pathogens, is reduced in purple tomato fruit. They have further demonstrated that susceptibility to Botrytis cinerea  is dependent specifically on the accumulation of anthocyanins, which alter the spreading of the ROS (rosea) burst during infection.  The investigators showed that the purple fruit is characterized by increased antioxidant capacity. This pigmentation likely slows the processes of over-ripening. Thus enhancement of the levels of natural antioxidants in tomato provides a novel way for prolonging shelf life regardless whether it is accomplished by means of  genetic engineering or through conventional breeding.

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