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

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01388

Melatonin is a Potential Target for Improving Post-harvest Preservation of Fruits and Vegetables

 Tao Xu1, 2*, Yao Chen1 and  Hunseung Kang3*
  • 1School of Life Science, Jiangsu Normal University, China
  • 2Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, United States
  • 3College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chonnam National University, South Korea

Melatonin is a ubiquitous molecule distributed in nature and not only plays an important role in animals and humans but also has extensive functions in plants, such as delaying senescence, exerting antioxidant effects, regulating growth and development, and facilitating plant adaption to stress conditions. Endogenous melatonin is widespread in fruits and vegetables and plays important roles in the ripening and post-harvest process of fruits and vegetables. Exogenous application of melatonin removes excess reactive oxygen species from post-harvest fruits and vegetables by increasing antioxidant enzymes, non-enzymatic antioxidants, and enzymes related to oxidized protein repair. Moreover, exogenous application of melatonin can increase endogenous melatonin to augment its effects on various physiological processes. Many previous reports have demonstrated that application of exogenous melatonin improves the post-harvest preservation of fruits and vegetables. Although overproduction of melatonin in plants via transgenic approaches could be a potential means for improving the post-harvest preservation of fruits and vegetables, efforts to increase endogenous melatonin in plants are limited. In this review, we summarize the recent progress revealing the role and action mechanisms of melatonin in post-harvest fruits and vegetables and provide future directions for the utilization of melatonin to improve the post-harvest preservation of fruits and vegetables.

Keywords: Melatonin, Fruits, Vegetables, Post-harvest, preservation

Received: 30 Jul 2019; Accepted: 08 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Xu, Chen and Kang. 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. Tao Xu, School of Life Science, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou, 221116, Jiangsu Province, China, xutao_yr@126.com
Prof. Hunseung Kang, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, 61186, South Korea, hskang@jnu.ac.kr