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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01689

Modifications in organic acid profiles during fruit development and ripening: Correlation or Causation?

  • 1Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil

The pivotal role of phytohormones during fruit development is considered established knowledge in plant biology. Perhaps less well-known is the growing body of evidence suggesting that organic acids play a key function in plant development and, in particular, in fruit development and maturation. Here, we critically review the connection between organic acids and the development of both climacteric and non-climacteric fruits. By analyzing the metabolic content of different fruits during their ontogenetic trajectory, we noticed that the content of organic acids in the early stages of fruit development is directly related to the supply of substrates for respiratory processes. Although different organic acid species can be found during fruit development in general, it appears that citrate and malate play major roles in this process, as they accumulate on a broad range of climacteric and non-climacteric fruits. We further highlight the functional significance of changes in organic acid profile in fruits due to either the manipulation of fruit-specific genes or the use of fruit-specific promoters. Despite the complexity behind the fluctuation in organic acid content during fruit development, we extend our understanding on the importance of organic acids on fruit metabolism and the need to further boost future research. We suggest that engineering organic acid metabolism could improve both qualitative and quantitative traits of crop fruits.

Keywords: Carbon Metabolism, development, Metabolism, Organic acids, primary metabolism

Received: 30 Jul 2018; Accepted: 31 Oct 2018.

Edited by:

José M. Palma, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Spain

Reviewed by:

Maria F. Drincovich, Centro de Estudios Fotosintéticos y Bioquímicos (CEFOBI), Argentina
Yong Xu, National Engineering Research Center for Vegetables, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, China  

Copyright: © 2018 Silva, Nascimento, Medeiros, Nunes-Nesi, Ribeiro, Zsögön and Araújo. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Agustin Zsögön, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Brazil,
Prof. Wagner L. Araújo, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Brazil,