Department of Biotechnology, Catholic University of Daegu1
Skin blackening is a serious postharvest disorder occurring in ‘Fuyu’ persimmon fruits (Diospyros kaki, ‘Fuyu’). Phenolic content, polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase (POD) activity, and lipid saturation were investigated in skin tissue of ‘Fuyu’ fruits. The phenolic compounds were accumulated unevenly on fruit skin depending on sunlight exposure, i.e., the most accumulation on sunny side and the least on the opposite, shaded side. The fruits harvested from shaded branches inside the canopy showed relatively even distribution of phenolic compounds in the skin. The activity distribution of PPO and POD were also uneven but only in fruits suffering from skin blackening disorder, with the highest and the lowest activity of PPO and POD, respectively, in the blackened area of the fruit. When the sunny, southern sides of fruits were marked at harvesting time and fruits were stored at low temperature, a round black spot, as a symptom of skin blackening disorder, developed during storage exactly on the marked region. In addition, the sunny side of fruit showed higher lipid saturation, thus indicating adaptation to high temperature caused by the sunlight. These results suggest that the skin blackening disorder of ‘Fuyu’ fruits can be considered as a kind of chilling injury symptom that develops on the high-temperature-acclimated skin tissue of sunlight-exposed fruits when they are later exposed to low temperature.
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