, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 189-199

The involvement of phenolics and phytoalexins in resistance of potato to soft rot

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Phenolics, for example chlorogenic, caffeic and ferulic acid, and phytoalexins, such as rishitin and phytuberin, were identified in potato tubers cv. Kufri Chandramukhi. The tissue of healthy tubers contained no detectable phytoalexins but did contain phenolics. The levels of these compounds were correlated with soft rot development. The rotting tissue either was free of these groups of compounds or had low concentrations. The wound periderm formed as a result of recovery from injury and infection contained high levels of the compounds. Much higher concentrations were detected at lower storage temperatures when oxygen supply was adequate. Antibacterial properties of the phenolics identified were tested againstErwinia carotovora which was inhibited by chlorogenic, caffeic and ferulic acids. The three phenolics were more effective together, in proportions in which they occurred in wound periderm, than individually. It was observed that none of these phenolics could inhibit pectolytic enzymes ofE. carotovora.