Aroma volatiles as modulators of postharvest mold development on fruit: In vivo role and fumigation tools

D. D. Archbold, T. R. Hamilton-Kemp, E. Fallik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Aroma volatiles are important sensory attributes of ripe fruit, but they may also play functional roles in plant-pathogen interactions. In in vitro bioassays, the presence of ripe strawberry (Fragaria xananassa Duch.) and blackberry (Rubus spp.) fruit adjacent to agar media inoculated with Botrytis cinerea Pers. (gray mold) spores influenced germ tube elongation within 24 hours. With strawberry, germ tube elongation increased if fruit were present, while germ tube elongation was both promoted and inhibited with blackberry depending on fruit proximity to the fungal culture. The lipoxygenase-lyase product (E)-2-hexenal, a volatile component of many fruit especially after wounding, has been implicated in plant pathogen defense and observed to inhibit B. cinerea spore germination and both inhibit and promote germ tube elongation in a concentration-dependent manner. This inhibitory effect has been studied as a technique to control mold development on fruit during postharvest storage. The compound (100 mL of liquid) was placed in 1 L low density film-wrapped clamshell containers with 150 g of fruit during 2°C storage. Following 7 d of cold storage and removal of the over-wrapped film and chemical from the containers and transfer to 20°C, mold development was enhanced on strawberry but reduced on blackberry. Mold was also reduced on seedless grape (Vitis vinifera L.) during 20°C storage following 14 d of exposure to (E)-2-hexenal in 2°C storage. Differences in metabolism of (E)-2-hexenal among the species and the resulting headspace concentrations may partly explain the dissimilar responses. Further development of an understanding of the role of aroma volatiles in plant-pathogen interactions could lead to identification of other natural volatile compounds with anti-fungal activity and biologically-based techniques to control mold during postharvest storage.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationXXV International Horticultural Congress, Part 8
Subtitle of host publicationQuality of Horticultural Products
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2000

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
ISSN (Print)0567-7572


  • (E)-2-hexenal
  • Aroma volatile
  • Blackberry
  • Fragaria x ananassa
  • Fumigation
  • Mold
  • Postharvest
  • Rubus spp.
  • Seedless grape
  • Strawberry
  • Vitis vinifera

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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