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Spatial and temporal variations in mango colour, acidity, and sweetness in relation to temperature and ethylene gradients within the fruit

Nordey T., Lechaudel M., Génard M., Joas J.. 2014. Journal of Plant Physiology, 171 (17) : p. 1555-1563.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jplph.2014.07.009

Managing fruit quality is complex because many different attributes have to be taken into account, which are themselves subjected to spatial and temporal variations. Heterogeneous fruit quality has been assumed to be partly related to temperature and maturity gradients within the fruit. To test this assumption, we measured the spatial variability of certain mango fruit quality traits: colour of the peel and of the flesh, and sourness and sweetness, at different stages of fruit maturity using destructive methods as well as vis-NIR reflectance. The spatial variability of mango quality traits was compared to internal variations in thermal time, simulated by a physical model, and to internal variations in maturity, using ethylene content as an indicator. All the fruit quality indicators analysed showed significant spatial and temporal variations, regardless of the measurement method used. The heterogeneity of internal fruit quality traits was not correlated with the marked internal temperature gradient we modelled. However, variations in ethylene content revealed a strong internal maturity gradient which was correlated with the spatial variations in measured mango quality traits. Nonetheless, alone, the internal maturity gradient did not explain the variability of fruit quality traits, suggesting that other factors, such as gas, abscisic acid and water gradients, are also involved.

Mots-clés : réunion; france

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