Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 187–193 | Cite as

Lignin Deposition and Effect of Postharvest Treatment on Lignification of Green Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.)

  • Zun-Ying Liu
  • Wei-Bo Jiang


To understand how lignin synthesis is regulated after harvest, detached green asparagus stalks (Asparagus officinalis L.) were treated with 1 μl l−1 of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), 50 μg l−1 gibberellic acid (GA3), 2% (v:v) ethanol or 1 μl l−1 ethylene. The results showed that lignin concentration in asparagus stalks stored at room temperature rapidly increased. Three conventional precursors of lignin, 4-hydroxycinnamic acid (coumaric acid), 3,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid (caffeic acid) and 4-hydroxy-3-mythoxycinnamic acid (ferulic acid), were found to be the major phenolics in the asparagus stalks. Furthermore, the concentrations of O 2 in asparagus stalks steadily increased during the storage. Deposition of lignin in harvested asparagus was significantly reduced by treating the stalks with GA3, 1-MCP or ethanol. The concentration of lignin in stalks treated with GA3, 1-MCP or ethanol was 32, 20 or 27% lower, respectively, than in controls 3 days after treatment. Treating stalks with ethylene enhanced lignin synthesis (p<0.05). The concentration of total phenol in stalks was also significantly reduced by GA3, 1-MCP and ethanol, but was enhanced by ethylene treatment. However, the concentration of active oxygen (O2−⋅) in stalks was significantly reduced by treatment with GA3, 1-MCP and ethanol, but was enhanced by treatment with ethylene. Our study show that postharvest treatment with 1-MCP, GA3 or ethanol may be applied to improve the quality of green asparagus.


1-MCP Ethanol GA3 Green asparagus Lignification 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Food Science & Nutritional EngineeringChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Food EngineeringOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina

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