Journal of Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 34–43 | Cite as

Application of a Rapid and Sensitive Method for Hormonal and Vitamin E Profiling Reveals Crucial Regulatory Mechanisms in Flower Senescence and Fruit Ripening

  • Javier A. Miret
  • Jana Cela
  • Laís A. Bezerra
  • Laia Arrom
  • Marta Juvany
  • Maren Müller
  • Sergi Munné-Bosch


Knowledge of ripeness and regulation of postharvest processes is an important tool to prevent loss of commercial value in both fruit and cut flower markets. The joint analysis of hormones and vitamin E levels can reveal complex interactions between hormones and oxidative stress as key regulators of postharvest processes. Profiling of both groups of metabolic compounds was performed during the ripening of non-climacteric fruits (red raspberry, Rubus idaeus L.) and senescence of ethylene-insensitive flowers (Dutch Iris, Iris x hollandica L.). After an initial extraction of the sample, without further purification steps, the hormonal profile was analyzed by UPLC-MS/MS and vitamin E levels were measured by HPLC. This methodological approach was very fast and had enough sensitivity for the analysis of small samples. Raspberry fruit maturation was characterized by a decline of cytokinin levels [zeatin, zeatin riboside, 2-isopentenyl adenine, and isopentenyl adenosine (Z, ZR, 2-iP, and IPA, respectively)] and gibberellins (GA1 in particular). Exogenous application of ABA prevented δ-tocopherol loss during fruit ripening. Iris floral senescence was also under strict hormonal control, also mediated by cytokinins and gibberellins. Z, ZR, 2-iP, GA9, and GA24 levels decreased in inner tepals, whereas the level of IPA decreased in style-merged-to-stigma tissues, thus suggesting tissue-specific roles for different hormones. α-Tocopherol levels decreased during senescence of inner tepals, hence suggesting enhanced oxidative stress. In conclusion, the rapid and sensitive hormonal and vitamin E profiling presented here can help in understanding the key physiological processes underlying fruit ripening and floral senescence.


Ethylene-insensitive Flower senescence Fruit ripening Hormonal profile Non-climacteric fruits Vitamin E 



This work was supported by the prize ICREA Academia given to SMB, funded by the Generalitat de Catalunya. JAM holds a FPU fellowship from the Spanish Government. We are very grateful to Serveis de Camps Experimentals and Serveis Científico-tècnics (University of Barcelona) for technical assistance.

Supplementary material

344_2013_9375_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 1109 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Javier A. Miret
    • 1
  • Jana Cela
    • 1
  • Laís A. Bezerra
    • 1
  • Laia Arrom
    • 1
  • Marta Juvany
    • 1
  • Maren Müller
    • 1
  • Sergi Munné-Bosch
    • 1
  1. 1.Departament de Biologia Vegetal, Facultat de BiologiaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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