Lignification, which occurs in many horticultural fruit and vegetables, brings about undesirable texture and unfavorable consumer preference. However, this problem has rarely been studied. In this work, three pumelo cultivars cvs “Hongroumiyou” (HR), “Bairoumiyou” (BR), and “Huangroumiyou” (HuR) were stored at 25 °C for 90 days, and juice sacs were sampled to explore the lignin accumulation and its relationship to sucrose and energy depletion were investigated. The results displayed that HuR contained lower sucrose content, lower ATP level, but higher lignin content compared to BR and HR during postharvest storage, indicating that the sequence according to storage resistance on the basis of lignin content is as follows: HuR < BR < HR. Furthermore, sucrose degradation attributed to enhanced activities of neutral invertase (NI), soluble acid invertase (S-AI), cell wall-bound invertase (B-AI), and energy deficit on account of declined ATP level, showed significantly negative correlation with lignin accumulation, suggesting that lignin accumulation occurrence could induce sucrose degradation and energy deficit during postharvest storage. Additionally, higher activities of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), polyphenol oxidase (PPO), peroxidase (POD) could accelerate lignin synthesis and resulted in lignin accumulation during postharvest pumelo storage.
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