Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, Volume 35, Issue 11, pp 3091–3098 | Cite as

Physiological and molecular analyses of early and late Coffea arabica cultivars at different stages of fruit ripening

  • Solange Aparecida Ságio
  • André Almeida Lima
  • Horllys Gomes Barreto
  • Carlos Henrique Siqueira de Carvalho
  • Luciano Vilela Paiva
  • Antonio Chalfun-JuniorEmail author
Original Paper


Coffee quality is strongly influenced by a great number of factors, among which the fruit ripening stage at harvest time has a major influence on this feature. Studies comprising ethylene production and the regulation of ethylene biosynthesis genes during the ripening process indicate that ethylene plays an important role on coffee fruit ripening. Coffee early cultivars usually show a more uniform ripening process although little is known about the genetic factors that promote the earliness of ripening. Thus, in order to better understand the physiological and genetic factors involved in the regulation of ripening time, and consequently ripening uniformity, this study aimed to analyze ethylene and respiration patterns during coffee ripening, as well as to analyze ACC oxidase, an ethylene biosynthesis enzyme, gene expression, in fruits of early (Catucaí 785-15) and late (Acauã) coffee cultivars. Coffee fruits were harvested monthly from 124 days after flowering (end of February), until complete maturation (end of June). Dry matter, moisture content, color, respiratory rate and ethylene production analysis were performed. In silico analysis identified a coffee ACC oxidase gene (CaACO-like) and its expression was analyzed by real-time PCR. Dry matter and relative water content constantly increased and gradually decreased, respectively, during fruit ripening, and the color analysis enabled the observation of the earliness in the ripening process displayed by Catucaí 785-15 and its higher fruit ripening uniformity. The results obtained from the CaACO-like expression analysis and respiration and ethylene analysis suggest that the differences in ripening behavior between the two coffee cultivars analyzed in this study may be related to the differences in their capacity to produce ethylene, with fruits of Catucaí 785-15 and Acauã showing a typical and an attenuated climacteric phase, respectively, which may have lead to differences in their ripening time and uniformity.


Coffea arabica Ethylene Respiration Ripening 



To “Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível” Superior, CAPES for the scholarship of the first author. To “Fundação de Apoio à Tecnologia Cafeeira - Fundação Procafé”for providing the plants used in the experiments. To Prof. Mário Guerreiro on behalf of the “Departamento de Química” and to Prof. Luis Carlos de Oliveira Lima on behalf of the “Departamento de Ciências dos Alimentos”.


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Solange Aparecida Ságio
    • 1
  • André Almeida Lima
    • 1
  • Horllys Gomes Barreto
    • 1
  • Carlos Henrique Siqueira de Carvalho
    • 2
  • Luciano Vilela Paiva
    • 3
  • Antonio Chalfun-Junior
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratório de Fisiologia Molecular de Plantas (LFMP)Universidade Federal de Lavras (UFLA)LavrasBrazil
  2. 2.Embrapa CaféVarginhaBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de QuímicaUFLALavrasBrazil
  4. 4.Departamento de BiologiaUFLALavrasBrazil

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