Submitted to: Annual Reviews of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: April 16, 2001
Publication Date: May 1, 2001
Citation: GIOVANNONI, J.J. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF FRUIT MATURATION AND RIPENING. ANNUAL REVIEWS OF PLANT PHYSIOLOGY AND PLANT MOLECULAR BIOLOGY. 2001. V. 52. P. 725-749. Technical Abstract: The ripe phenotype can be described as the summation of biochemical and physiological changes occurring at the terminal stage of fruit development and rendering the organ edible and desirable to seed dispersing animals, and often value as an agricultural commodity. These changes, although variable among species, generally include modification of cell wall ultrastructure and texture, conversion of starch to sugars, increased susceptibility to post-harvest pathogens, alterations in pigment biosynthesis/accumulation, and heightened levels of flavor and aromatic volatiles. One of the key regulatory questions relative to the ripening process is "how are the collection of otherwise unrelated pathways and processes coordinated to act efficiently and synchronously during this stage of fruit development?" The last decade has seen significant advances in our understanding of the molecular regulation of individual ripening parameters and has revealed significant insights into their coordination. Resulting knowledge has contributed to a more complete view of molecular ripening control and has produced the first molecular tools for addressing problems in fruit production and quality.