About this Research Topic
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are essential for fruit flavor, and along with sugars and acids, play a key role in the perception and acceptability of fruits by consumers. Many fruits sold in groceries have garnered criticism from consumers concerning their lack of flavor. Despite the recent consideration of increasing flavor quality in breeding programs, biotic and abiotic stress in pre- and post-harvest environments and practice can be blamed for this lack of flavor. In fact, many technologies developed for extending shelf-life may come at the sacrifice of flavor quality. For example, cold chain for fresh produce is the most important tool to reduce deterioration and waste, however, low temperatures inhibit flavor development. Furthermore, many tropical and subtropical derived fruits are chilling sensitive, and cold temperatures cause physiological disorder, which frequently induces distorted flavor balance.
Over 1700 VOCs have been identified from 90 different plant families. Biosynthesis of the different VOCs can be divided into several classes, including terpenoids, phenylpropanoids/benzenoids, fatty acid derivatives, and amino acid derivatives. Our knowledge of the biosynthetic pathways and regulatory networks are limited to only a small portion of the most economically important molecules. Even considering the most important VOCs, their biosynthetic pathways have only recently been established or remain unclear. Fortunately, the integration of metabolomics and transcriptomics provided precise information on gene‐to‐metabolite networks, the development of analytical biochemistry greatly expanded our understanding of their metabolic pathways.
Signal transduction cascades involved in ripening and senescence‐inducible emission are currently under extensive investigation, however, signaling mechanisms regulating fluctuations in VOCs in response to environmental or physiological factors still await further investigation.
The aim of this Research Topic is to collect recent, innovative, and promising fruit VOC research, with the goal to improve fruit quality associated with revealing metabolism. We welcome submissions of Original Research, Review, Mini-Review, and Perspective articles in areas including, but not limited to:
• Genomics and genetic analysis of fruit aroma
• Advanced targeted and untargeted chromatographic, mass-spectrometric, and nuclear magnetic resonance techniques applied in metabolomics studies.
• Manipulation of flavor quality in fruit and the related programmed senescence of fruit and regulation by plant hormones
• Strategies to balance flavor quality and shelf life/visual quality in fruits
• Innovative sampling strategies to address the challenges of the existing ones with the aim to define standardized collection protocols.
Please note that descriptive studies and those defining gene families or descriptive collection of transcripts, proteins, or metabolites, will not be considered for review unless they are expanded and provide mechanistic and/or physiological insights into the biological system or process being studied.
Keywords: Volatile organic compounds, plant metabolism, fruit quality, VOC biosynthesis, flavor quality
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.