Transcription of ethylene perception and biosynthesis genes is altered by putrescine, spermidine and aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) during ripening in peach fruit (Prunus persica)


Author for correspondence: Patrizia Torrigiani Tel: +39 0512091291 Fax: +39 051242576 Email:


  • • The time course of ethylene biosynthesis and perception was investigated in ripening peach fruit (Prunus persica) following treatments with the polyamines putrescine (Pu) and spermidine (Sd), and with aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG).
  • • Fruit treatments were performed in planta. Ethylene production was measured by gas chromatography, and polyamine content by high-performance liquid chromatography; expression analyses were performed by Northern blot or real-time polymerase chain reaction.
  • • Differential increases in the endogenous polyamine pool in the epicarp and mesocarp were induced by treatments; in both cases, ethylene production, fruit softening and abscission were greatly inhibited. The rise in 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase (PpACO1) mRNA was counteracted and delayed in polyamine-treated fruit, whereas transcript abundance of ethylene receptors PpETR1 (ethylene receptor 1) and PpERS1 (ethylene sensor 1) was enhanced at harvest. Transcript abundance of arginine decarboxylase (ADC) and S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (SAMDC) was transiently reduced in both the epicarp and mesocarp. AVG, here taken as a positive control, exerted highly comparable effects to those of Pu and Sd.
  • • Thus, in peach fruit, increasing the endogenous polyamine pool in the epicarp or in the mesocarp strongly interfered, both at a biochemical and at a biomolecular level, with the temporal evolution of the ripening syndrome.