24-Epibrassinolide Mechanisms Regulating Blossom-End Rot Development in Tomato Fruit

  • Lucas Baiochi RiboldiEmail author
  • Salete Aparecida Gaziola
  • Ricardo Antunes Azevedo
  • Sérgio Tonetto de Freitas
  • Paulo Roberto de Camargo e Castro


Blossom-end rot (BER) is a physiological disorder believed to be triggered by low Ca2+ content in the distal fruit tissue. However, many other factors can also determine fruit susceptibility to BER. It is possible that during fruit growth, Ca2+ imbalance can increase membrane leakiness, which may trigger the accumulation of reactive oxygen species, leading to cell death. Brassinosteroids are a class of plant hormones involved in stress defenses, specially increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes and the accumulation of antioxidant compounds, such as ascorbic acid. The objective of this study was to understand the mechanisms by which 24-epibrassinolide (EBL) reduces fruit susceptibility to BER. Tomato plants ‘BRS Montese’ were cultivated in a greenhouse and were weekly sprayed with water (control) or EBL (0.01 µM) after full bloom. Plants and fruits were evaluated at 15 days after pollination (DAP). According to the results, EBL treatment inhibited BER development, increased fruit diameter, length, and fresh weight. EBL-treated fruit showed higher concentrations of soluble Ca2+ and lower concentrations of cell wall-bound Ca2+. EBL-treated fruit also had higher concentrations of ascorbic acid and lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, compared to water-treated fruit. EBL treatment increased the activity of the three main antioxidant enzymes known as ascorbate peroxidase, catalase, and superoxide dismutase. According to the results, EBL treatment maintained higher soluble Ca2+ and antioxidant capacity, reducing fruit susceptibility to BER.


Antioxidant capacity Blossom-end rot Brassinosteroids Calcium deficiency 24-Epibrassinolide Oxidative stress 



The Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) and the Department of Biological Sciences of the University of São Paulo (ESALQ/USP) supported this study. We also thank the Laboratory of Plant Ecophysiology, Laboratory of Plant Genetics and Biochemistry (ESALQ/USP), and Laboratory of Plants Mineral Nutrition (CENA/USP).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biological Sciences Department, “Luiz de Queiroz” College of AgricultureUniversity of São PauloPiracicabaBrazil
  2. 2.Genetics and Plant Breeding Department, “Luiz de Queiroz” College of AgricultureUniversity of São PauloPiracicabaBrazil
  3. 3.Postharvest Biology and TechnologySérgio Tonetto de FreitasBrazilian Agricultural Research CorporationPetrolinaBrazil

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