Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, 37:252 | Cite as

Expression of ethylene biosynthetic and signaling genes in relation to ripening of banana fruit after cold storage

  • Keqian Hong
  • Jianghui Xie
  • Ru Zou
  • Ezhen Zhang
  • Min Xin
  • Maokang Huang
  • Quanguang HeEmail author
Original Article


Banana fruit are highly sensitive to chilling injury (CI), while the effect of different degrees of CI on the subsequent fruit ripening is largely unknown. In the present work, ripening characteristic of banana fruit after storage at 7 °C for 3 days or for 8 days, and expression levels of eight genes associated with ethylene biosynthetic and signaling, including MaACS1, MaACO1, MaERS1, MaERS3, and MaEIL14, were investigated. The results showed that banana fruit stored at 7 °C for 8 days exhibited more severe chilling symptoms than those at 7 °C for 3 days. Compared with banana fruit stored at 7 °C for 8 days, which showed abnormal ripening, more decrease in fruit firmness, while higher increase in ethylene production and hue angle were observed in banana fruit stored at 7 °C for 3 days, which could ripening normally. Moreover, gene expression profiles during ripening revealed that ethylene biosynthetic and signaling genes were differentially expressed in peel and pulp of banana fruit after storage at 7 °C for 3 days and 7 °C for 8 days. In the peel of fruit storage at 7 °C for 3 days, expression levels of MaACS1, MaACO1, MaEIL1, and MaEIL2 increased remarkably while MaERS3, MaEIL1, and MaEIL4 were enhanced in the fruit after storage at 7 °C for 8 days. In the pulp, with the exception of MaACO1 and MaERS3, expression levels of other genes did not exhibit a significant difference, between the banana fruit storage at 7 °C for 3 days and 7 °C for 8 days. Taken together, our results suggest that differential expression of ethylene biosynthetic and signaling genes such as MaERS3, MaACO1, and MaEIL2, may be related to ripening behavior of banana fruit with different degrees of CI after cold storage.


Banana fruit Chilling injury Ripening Ethylene biosynthetic and signaling genes 



This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 31160406) and Guangxi Natural Science Foundation (grant no. 2012GXNSFBA053058).


  1. Balandrán-Quintana RR, Mendoza-Wilson AM, Gardea-Béjar AA, Vargas-Arispuro I, Martknez-Téllez MA (2003) Irreversibility of chilling injury in zucchini squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) could be a programmed event long before the visible symptoms are evident. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 307:553–557CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Ben-Amor M, Flores B, Latché A, Bouzayen M, Pech JC, Romojaro F (1999) Inhibition of ethylene biosynthesis by antisense ACC oxidase RNA prevents chilling injury in Charentais cantaloupe melons. Plant Cell Environ 22:1579–1586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bleecker AB, Kende H (2000) Ethylene: a gaseous signal molecule in plants. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol 16:1–18CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Choudhury SR, Roy S, Nag A, Singh SK, Sengupta DN (2012) Characterization of an AGAMOUS-like MADS box protein, a probable constituent of flowering and fruit ripening regulatory system in banana. PLoS One 7:e44361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fluhr R, Mattoo AK (1996) Ethylene biosynthesis and perception. Crit Rev Plant Sci 15:479–523Google Scholar
  6. Guo HW, Ecker JR (2004) The ethylene signaling pathway: new insights. Curr Opin Plant Biol 7:40–49CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. He QG, Hong KQ, Zou R, Liao F, Cui SF, Zhang EZ, Huang MK (2014) The role of jasmonic acid and lipoxygenase in propylene-induced chilling tolerance on banana fruit. Eur Food Res Technol 238:71–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hong KQ, Gong DQ, Xu HB, Wang SB, Jia ZW, Chen J, Zhang LB (2014) Effects of salicylic acid and nitric oxide pretreatment on the expression of genes involved in the ethylene signaling pathway and the quality of postharvest mango fruit. New Z J Crop Hortic 42:205–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Huang SZ, Sawaki T, Takahashi A, Mizuno S, Takezawa K, Matsumura A (2010) Melon EIN3-like transcription factors (CmEIL1 and CmEIL2) are positive regulators of an ethylene- and ripening-induced 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase gene (CM-ACO1). Plant Sci 178:251–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jiang YM, Joyce DC, Jiang WB, Lu WJ (2004) Effects of chilling temperatures on ethylene binding by banana fruit. Plant Growth Regul 43:109–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Joseph AC, Jill D, Michael DO (1997) Increased ethylene synthesis enhances chilling tolerance in tomato. Physiol Plant 101:333–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kent MW, Andersen CR, Pike LM (1988) Chilling injury in cucumber fruit varieties. HortScience 23:727Google Scholar
  13. Lederman IE, Zauberman G, Weksler A, Rot I, Fuchs Y (1997) Ethylene-forming capacity during cold storage and chilling injury development in ‘Keitt’ mango fruit. Postharvest Biol Technol 10:107–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lelièvre JM, Latché A, Jones B, Bouzayen M, Pech JC (1997) Ethylene and fruit ripening. Physiol Plant 101:727–739CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lipton WJ, Wang CY (1987) Chilling exposures and ethylene treatment change the level of ACC in ‘Honey Dew’ melons. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 112:109–112Google Scholar
  16. Majeed M, Jeffrey KB (2002) Reduction of chilling injury in ‘Tommy Atkins’ mangoes during ripening. Sci Hortic 95:297–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Marangoni AG, Palma T, Sanley DW (1996) Membrane effects in postharvest physiology. Postharvest Biol Technol 7:193–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Marriott J (1980) Bananas—physiology and biochemistry of storage and ripening for optimum quality. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 13:41–88CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Mbéguié-A-Mbéguie D, Hubert O, Fils-Lycaon B, Chillet M, Baurens FC (2008) EIN3-like gene expression during fruit ripening of Cavendish banana (Musa acuminata cv. Grande naine). Physiol Plant 133:435–448CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. McCollum TG, McDonald RE (1991) Electrolyte leakage, respiration, and ethylene production as indices of chilling injury in grapefruit. HortScience 26:1191–1192Google Scholar
  21. McGuire RG (1992) Reporting of objective color measurements. HortScience 27:1254–1255Google Scholar
  22. Nair S, Singh Z, Tan SC (2004) Chilling injury in relation to ethylene biosynthesis in ‘Kensington Pride’ mango fruit. J Hortic Sci Biotechnol 79:82–90Google Scholar
  23. Pantastico EB, Azizan MA, Abdullah H, Acedo AL, Dasuki IM, Kosiyachinda S (1990) Physiological disorders of banana fruit. In: Hassan A, Pantastico EB (eds) Banana: fruit development, postharvest physiology, handling and marketing in ASEAN. ASEAN Food Handling Bureau, Kuala Lumpur, pp 85–103Google Scholar
  24. Rodriguez SC, López B, Chaves AR (2001) Effect of different treatments on the evolution of polyamines during refrigerated storage of eggplants. J Agric Food Chem 49:4700–4705CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rugkong A, McQuinn R, Giovannoni JJ, Rose JKC, Watkins CB (2011) Expression of ripening-related genes in cold-stored tomato fruit. Postharvest Biol Technol 61:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Shan W, Kuang JF, Chen L, Xie H, Peng HH, Xiao YY, Li XP, Chen WX, He QG, Chen JY, Lu WJ (2012) Molecular characterization of banana NAC transcription factors and their interactions with ethylene signaling component EIL during fruit ripening. J Exp Bot 63:5171–5187PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Wade NL, Kavanagh EE, Sepiah M (1993) Effects of modified atmosphere storage on banana postharvest diseases and the control of bunch main-stalk rot. Postharvest Biol Technol 3:143–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wan CY, Wilkin TA (1994) A modified hot borate method significantly enhances the yield of high quality RNA from cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Anal Biochem 223:7–12CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Wang YC, Adams DO (1982) Chilling-induced ethylene production in cucumber (Cucumis sativa L.). Plant Physiol 69:424–427PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Wang CY, Sams CE, Gross KC (1985) Ethylene, ACC, soluble polyuronide, and cell wall non cellulosic neutral sugar content in ‘Eldorado’ pears during cold storage and ripening. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 110:687–691Google Scholar
  31. Wills RBH, Warton MA, Mussa D, Chew LP (2001) Ripening of climacteric fruits initiated at low ethylene levels. Aust J Exp Agric 41:89–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Xiao YY, Chen JY, Kuang JF, Shan W, Xie H, Jiang YM, Lu WJ (2013) Banana ethylene response factors are involved in fruit ripening through their interactions with ethylene biosynthesis genes. J Exp Bot 64:2499–2510PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Yan SC, Chen JY, Yu WM, Kuang JF, Chen WX, Li XP, Lu WJ (2011) Expression of genes associated with ethylene-signalling pathway in harvested banana fruit in response to temperature and 1-MCP treatment. J Sci Food Agric 91:650–657CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Yang SF, Hoffman NE (1984) Ethylene biosynthesis and its regulation in higher plants. Annu Rev Plant Physiol 35:155–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Yin XR, Allan AC, Chen KS, Ferguson IB (2010) Kiwifruit EIL and ERF genes involved in regulating fruit ripening. Plant Physiol 153:1280–1292PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keqian Hong
    • 1
  • Jianghui Xie
    • 1
  • Ru Zou
    • 4
  • Ezhen Zhang
    • 2
  • Min Xin
    • 2
  • Maokang Huang
    • 2
  • Quanguang He
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Postharvest Physiology and Technology of Tropical Horticultural Products of Hainan Province, South Subtropical Crop Research InstituteChinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural SciencesZhanjiangChina
  2. 2.Institute of Agro-food Science and TechnologyGuangxi Academy of Agricultural SciencesNanningChina
  3. 3.Guangxi Crop Genetic Improvement LaboratoryNanningChina
  4. 4.BGI-ShenzenShenzhenChina

Personalised recommendations