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A process-based model of TCA cycle functioning to analyze citrate accumulation in pre-and post-harvest fruits

Etienne A., Génard M., Bugaud C.. 2015. PloS One, 10 (6) : 26 p..

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126777

Citrate is one of the most important organic acids in many fruits and its concentration plays a critical role in organoleptic properties. The regulation of citrate accumulation throughout fruit development, and the origins of the phenotypic variability of the citrate concentration within fruit species remain to be clarified. In the present study, we developed a process- based model of citrate accumulation based on a simplified representation of the TCA cycle to predict citrate concentration in fruit pulp during the pre- and post-harvest stages. Banana fruit was taken as a reference because it has the particularity of having post-harvest ripen- ing, during which citrate concentration undergoes substantial changes. The model was cali- brated and validated on the two stages, using data sets from three contrasting cultivars in terms of citrate accumulation, and incorporated different fruit load, potassium supply, and harvest dates. The model predicted the pre and post-harvest dynamics of citrate concentra- tion with fairly good accuracy for the three cultivars. The model suggested major differences in TCA cycle functioning among cultivars during post-harvest ripening of banana, and point- ed to a potential role for NAD-malic enzyme and mitochondrial malate carriers in the geno- typic variability of citrate concentration. The sensitivity of citrate accumulation to growth parameters and temperature differed among cultivars during post-harvest ripening. Finally, the model can be used as a conceptual basis to study citrate accumulation in fleshy fruits and may be a powerful tool to improve our understanding of fruit acidity.

Mots-clés : citrate; concentration; composition globale; modèle mathématique; modèle de simulation; pulpe de fruits; fruits; Étude de cas; banane; génotype; variété; facteur du milieu; malate; activité enzymatique; récolte; martinique; indonésie; france

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