Browse Articles

Article|01 Aug 2018|OPEN
Melatonin promotes ripening of grape berry via increasing the levels of ABA, H2O2, and particularly ethylene
Lili Xu1, Qianyu Yue1, Guangqing Xiang1, Feng’e Bian1 & Yuxin Yao1,
1State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Horticultural Crops (Huang-Huai Region, Ministry of Agriculture), College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai’an 271018, China

Horticulture Research 5,
Article number: 41 (2018)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2018.41
Views: 701

Received: 20 Jan 2018
Revised: 03 Apr 2018
Accepted: 18 Apr 2018
Published online: 01 Aug 2018


The role of melatonin in the regulation of fruit ripening and the mechanism involved remain largely unknown. In “Moldova” grape berries, melatonin accumulated rapidly from onset of veraison, reached the maximum at 94 days after bloom (DAB) and then exhibited low levels at late stages of berry ripening. By contrast, abscisic acid (ABA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) exhibited different accumulation patterns, and ethylene was primarily produced immediately before veraison. Further experiments demonstrated that 10 and particularly 100 µM melatonin treatments increased the levels of ABA, H2O2, and ethylene production and promoted berry ripening compared with the control treatment, whereas 0.1 and 1.0 µM melatonin did not lead to clear effects. Additionally, the application of inhibitors indicated that ABA, H2O2, and ethylene participated in the regulation of berry ripening induced by melatonin, and the suppression of ethylene biosynthesis produced the greatest inhibitory effects on melatonin-induced berry ripening compared with those of ABA and H2O2. Melatonin also promoted ethylene production via ABA. In summary, 10 and particularly 100 µM melatonin treatments promoted berry ripening, which was accomplished, at least partially, via the other signaling molecules of ABA, H2O2, and particularly ethylene. This research provides insight into melatonin signaling during berry ripening and may advance the application of melatonin to accelerate berry ripening.