Fruit Development and Ripening

  • Rashmi Shakya
  • Manju A. Lal


Formation of fruits is a characteristic feature of angiosperms. Fruit types exhibit a great deal of diversity. They form an integral component of diet and provide not only vitamins and minerals but are also important source of antioxidants and fibers. Nutritional quality of the fruit is determined by various factors including those affecting the ripening stage. A fruit must have an optimum degree of ripeness so as to be consumed. Fruits are developed from less attractive immature stages to mature stages which attract seed-dispersing animals as well as human beings. Fruit ripening is a complex process, accomplished through several physiological, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms. These mechanisms also bring about changes in pigmentation due to loss of chlorophylls and a substantial increase in non-photosynthetic pigments, such as anthocyanins and carotenoids. Increase in the activity of cell wall hydrolases leads to fruit softening which is reflected in the texture of the mature fruit. Ripe fruits possess characteristic taste (due to elevated levels of sugars and depletion of organic acids) and aroma (due to biosynthesis of volatile compounds). Postharvest handling of the overripe fruits, however, is very difficult and adversely affects their storage and marketing.


Climacteric Non-climacteric Physiological changes Nitric oxide signaling Transcriptional regulation 

Suggested Further Readings

  1. Gapper NE, Giovannoni JJ, Watkins CB (2014) Understanding development and ripening of fruit crops in an ‘omics’ era. Horticl Res 23:14034–14044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Goulao LF, Oliveira CM (2008) Cell wall modifications during fruit ripening: when a fruit is not the fruit. Trends Food Sci Technol 19:4–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Osorio S, Scossa F, Fernie A (2013) Molecular regulation of fruit ripening. Front Plant Sci 14:198–206Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rashmi Shakya
    • 1
  • Manju A. Lal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyKirori Mal College, University of DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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