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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01045

Variation of anthocyanins content and profile throughout fruit development and ripening of highbush blueberry cultivars grown at two different altitudes

  • 1University of Milan, Italy

Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) is a widely consumed fruit and a rich source of bioactive compounds, namely the polyphenol class of anthocyanins. Little information is available about the influence of internal (genetic and developmental) and external (environmental) factors on the levels of phenolic metabolites in blueberry fruit. In light of this consideration, total polyphenolic and flavonoid content, anthocyanin accumulation and composition were evaluated in cv ‘Duke’ and ‘Brigitta’ grown at two different altitudes in Valtellina, a valley of the Alps in Northern Italy.
During berry ripening, there is a developmentally coordinated shift from cyanidin-type, di-substituted anthocyanins toward delphinidin-based, tri-substituted pigments. At the lower altitude location higher temperatures, not exceeding optimum, resulted in a more quickly berry developmental pattern and in higher anthocyanin concentrations in the early phases of ripening. At later stages of ripening, berries of both cultivars at higher altitude compensate for these initial temperature effects and no differences were recorded in ripe fruit grown in the two locations. We conclude that anthocyanin accumulation is strongly regulated by development and genotype and the environmental factors, associated to the altitude gradient, exert in the trial conditions only a fine-tuning influence. Fruits reach the full ripening stage simultaneously at both sites because the initial gap in pigment levels is counterbalanced at the higher altitude by a faster rate of accumulation at later phases of the ripening process.

Keywords: Blueberry, bioactive compounds, ripening class, Polyphenols, Anthocyanins, altitude, temperature

Received: 26 Apr 2019; Accepted: 29 Jul 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Spinardi, Cola, Gardana and Mignani. 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: Dr. Anna Spinardi, University of Milan, Milan, Italy, anna.spinardi@unimi.it