Characterization of ethylene biosynthesis and its regulation during fruit ripening in kiwifruit, Actinidia chinensis 'Sanuki Gold'

Eric G. Mworia, Takashi Yoshikawa, Naoki Yokotani, Tetsuo Fukuda, Katsuhiko Suezawa, Koichiro Ushijima, Ryohei Nakano, Yasutaka Kubo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Ethylene biosynthesis in kiwifruit, Actinidia chinensis 'Sanuki Gold' was characterized using propylene, an ethylene analog, and 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), an inhibitor of ethylene perception. In fruit harvested between a young stage (66 days after pollination) (DAP) and an early commercial harvesting stage (143 DAP), 2 days of exposure to propylene were sufficient to initiate ethylene biosynthesis while in fruit harvested at commercial harvesting stage (154 DAP), 4 days of propylene treatment were required. This observation suggests that response of ethylene biosynthesis to propylene treatment in kiwifruit declined with fruit maturity. Propylene treatment resulted in up-regulated expression of AC-ACO1, AC-ACO2, AC-SAM1 and AC-SAM2, prior to the induction of AC-ACS1 and ethylene production, confirming that AC-ACS1 is the rate limiting step in ethylene biosynthesis in kiwifruit. Treatment of fruit with more than 5 μL L-1 of 1-MCP after the induction of ethylene production subsequently suppressed ethylene production and expression of ethylene biosynthesis genes. Treatment of fruit with 1-MCP at harvest followed with propylene treatment delayed the induction of ethylene production and AC-ACS1 expression for 5 days. These observations suggest that in ripening kiwifruit, ethylene biosynthesis is regulated by positive feedback mechanism and that 1-MCP treatment at harvest effectively delays ethylene production by 5 days.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-113
Number of pages6
JournalPostharvest Biology and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2010


  • 1-Methylcyclopropene
  • Autocatalytic
  • Ethylene biosynthesis
  • Kiwifruit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Horticulture


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