Exogenous leucine delayed the yellowing of postharvest broccoli by regulating strigolactone and abscisic acid signals based on multi-omics profiling

Yunqiao Wang,Huihui Xu,Yuxiao Zhang,Yanyin Guo,Ying Chen,Yupeng Sun, Zhengli Wang, Lingxing Guan

Food Bioscience(2024)

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The yellowing of postharvest broccoli is the immediate manifestation of its quality deterioration, which can cause the loss of commodity value. This study employs a comprehensive analysis integrating transcriptomics and metabolomics to elucidate the effects and potential molecular mechanisms of exogenous leucine on pigment metabolism in postharvest broccoli stored at 10 ± 0.5°C. Results demonstrate that leucine treatment significantly inhibited the decrease of chlorophyll content and the increase of carotenoid content. Leucine treatment also inhibited the respiration rate and maintained higher VC content, total phenols content and DPPH radical scavenging activity of broccoli. Leucine treatment promoted chlorophyll biosynthesis by up-regulating UROD, PPOX, MC, CHLM, POR, DCVR, MT, and CAS expression while inhibiting chlorophyll liberation and degradation by up-regulating CABs expression and down-regulating NYC1, CLH2, PAO, and PPD expression. Additionally, exogenous leucine alleviated the damage of PSI, PSII, and photosynthetic electron transport chains in the thylakoid membrane. Furthermore, leucine treatment results in a lower transcriptional level of PDS, LCYB, crtZ, and ZEP, leading to reduced lycopene, zeaxanthin, and β-carotene content. Leucine treatment promotes the biosynthesis of carlactone, a strigolactone (SL) precursor, by up-regulating DWARF27, CCD7, and CCD8 expression. Additionally, leucine treatment down-regulated XDH expression and up-regulated CYP707A expression, inhibiting the biosynthesis and accumulation of abscisic acid (ABA). Consequently, our findings suggest that ABA and SLs may serve as crucial signaling factors in regulating chlorophyll and carotenoid metabolism in leucine-treated broccoli. This study introduces a novel method with theoretical support for delaying the yellowing process in postharvest broccoli.
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