, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 742–753 | Cite as

Metabolic changes in 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP)-treated ‘Empire’ apple fruit during storage

  • Jinwook Lee
  • David R. Rudell
  • Peter J. Davies
  • Christopher B. Watkins
Original Article


‘Empire’ apple fruit are more susceptible to flesh browning at 3.3°C if treated with 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), an inhibitor of ethylene perception. To better understand the metabolic changes associated with this browning, untargeted metabolic profiling with partial least squares analysis has been used to visualize changes in metabolic profile during hypoxic controlled atmosphere (CA) storage, ethylene insensitivity, and disorder development. Overall, most carbohydrates and organic acids were not appreciably affected, but the levels of amino acids and volatile metabolites were significantly affected, by 1-MCP treatment. Sorbitol and levels of some amino acids were elevated towards the end of storage in 1-MCP treated fruit. CA storage reduced the levels of many volatile components and 1-MCP reduced these levels further. Additionally multiple metabolites were associated with the development of flesh browning symptoms. Unlike other volatile compounds, methanol levels gradually increased with storage duration, regardless of 1-MCP treatment, while 1-MCP decreased ethanol production. Results reveal metabolic changes during storage that may be associated with development of flesh browning symptoms.


Metabolomics Partial least squares analysis (PLS) GC–MS Sorbitol GABA Amino acids Volatiles Phenolic compounds Flesh browning 



We thank Jackie Nock at the Department of Horticulture, Cornell University, and David Buchanan and Rachel Leisso at USDA-ARS, Tree Fruit Research Laboratory, for their assistance. This research was partly supported by Federal Formula Funds NE1036, the New York Apple Research and Development Program, and AgroFresh, Inc. Jinwook Lee was supported by a Department of Horticulture assistantship.

Supplementary material

11306_2011_373_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinwook Lee
    • 1
    • 4
  • David R. Rudell
    • 2
  • Peter J. Davies
    • 3
  • Christopher B. Watkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HorticultureCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.USDA-ARSTree Fruit Research LaboratoryWenatcheeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Plant Biology and HorticultureCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  4. 4.USDA-ARSTree Fruit Research LaboratoryWenatcheeUSA

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