Special Issue "Molecular, Genetic, and Physiological Control of Fruit and Vegetable Quality"

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524). This special issue belongs to the section "Developmental Physiology, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Luigi De Bellis
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Guest Editor
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies Università del Salento, Centro Ecotekne, via Provinciale Lecce Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Interests: plant physiology; genomics; biotechnology; pathology; fruit quality
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Alberto Pardossi
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy
Interests: plant physiology; vegetable crops; greenhouse horticulture; fruit quality
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is a worldwide growing consumption of high-quality fruit and vegetables because of a greater concern for a healthier diet. The world horticultural industry must take up the challenge of a sustainable production of high-quality fruit and vegetables in a changing environment and considering new legal regulations (e.g., on nitrates), the demand for functional foods and new specialty crops, such as microgreens, and the application of artificial or semi-artificial cropping systems.

Fruit and vegetable quality depends on a set of visual, organoleptic, nutritional, and nutraceutical properties, which influence the consumer’s perception of the products and market sales. Many factors influence fruit and vegetable quality, including the climate, production system, and post-harvest processing, handling, and storage. It is necessary to have deep knowledge of the genetic, molecular, and physiological processes that take place in harvested leaves and organs and how they respond to both pre- and post-harvest factors. In fact, the market and health value of the products are linked to traits such as texture, flavors, aromas, and nutraceutical/antioxidant content, which are controlled by multiple environmental, technological, and genetic factors. 

The Special Issue on "Molecular, Genetic, and Physiological Control of Fruit and Vegetable Quality" intends to provide readers with novel insights into how quality is influenced and/or controlled both genetically and environmentally. Contributions through original research papers or reviews that concern molecular genetics and/or physiological approaches on fruit and vegetable species are welcomed.

Prof. Dr. Luigi De Bellis
Prof. Dr. Alberto Pardossi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Horticulturae is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Fruit quality
  • Vegetable quality
  • Crop physiology
  • Metabolism
  • Molecular and genetic regulation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Suitability of Hydroponically-Grown Rumex acetosa L. as Fresh-Cut Produce
Horticulturae 2020, 6(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae6010004 - 09 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Sorrel (Rumex acetosa L.) is a perennial wild herb appreciated as a folk medicine and for use in folk-traditional cuisines, and its nutraceutical properties are increasingly known and studied. Nowadays, there is a lack of knowledge about the possibility of using this [...] Read more.
Sorrel (Rumex acetosa L.) is a perennial wild herb appreciated as a folk medicine and for use in folk-traditional cuisines, and its nutraceutical properties are increasingly known and studied. Nowadays, there is a lack of knowledge about the possibility of using this species as fresh-cut produce, and no reports have investigated the physiological/biochemical changes of sorrel leaves upon storage. To test the aforementioned, sorrel seedlings were cultivated in a floating system and two consecutive harvests took place: The first cut at 15 days (C1) and second cut at 30 days (C2) after sowing. Fresh-cut sorrel leaves from C1 and C2 were stored in plastic boxes at 4 °C for 15 days and chlorophylls, carotenoids, total phenols, flavonoids, ascorbic acid, and antioxidant capacity were evaluated during the storage period. During storage, sorrel leaves from the same cut did not show significant changes in total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity, which represents a positive outcome for the maintenance of the nutraceutical value of this species. For this reason, sorrel may be a very promising species as a “new” fresh-cut leafy vegetable. However, some differences were observed between the two cuts, especially in the total flavonoid and the total ascorbic acid contents. While promising, further research will be necessary to standardize the yield and the nutraceutical content of this species in different cuts, which will be necessary to introduce and promote sorrel to consumers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antioxidant Chemical Treatment Affects Physiology and Quality of Minimally-processed Escarole
Horticulturae 2019, 5(4), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae5040075 - 06 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study evaluated the effect of antioxidant application on quality and physiological aspects of minimally-processed escarole (Cichorium endivia var. latifolia L.) stored at 0 °C and 90–95% relative humidity for 21 d. After minimal processing, leaves were immersed for 5 min in [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the effect of antioxidant application on quality and physiological aspects of minimally-processed escarole (Cichorium endivia var. latifolia L.) stored at 0 °C and 90–95% relative humidity for 21 d. After minimal processing, leaves were immersed for 5 min in the following solutions: deionized water-control (CT), 1% ascorbic acid (AA), 1% citric acid (CA), 1% oxalic acid (OA), and 2% ethylenediamine-tetraacetic acid (EDTA). Excess water was removed and they were then packed in trays of expanded polystyrene and stored at 0 °C and 90–95% relative humidity for 21 d. Analyses were performed on day 0, after 1 h of processing, and then at intervals of 3 d. The 1% CA treatment maintained the highest levels of endogenous ascorbic acid and pigment content, as well as the lowest values of weight loss and Browning Index (BI). Microbiological development was within the limits established during storage for all treatments. Total phenolic compound content and the activity of polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase enzymes showed variations among treatments. Observing all results, it was concluded that 1% CA was the best antioxidant for the maintenance of the quality attributes of minimally-processed escarole for up to 21 d in cold storage at 0 °C. Full article
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Open AccessBrief Report
Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) Analysis of Fruit and Agronomic Traits of Tropical Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) in an Organic Production System
Horticulturae 2020, 6(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae6010014 - 02 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Interest in the development of organically grown vegetable crops has risen over the past decades due to consumer preferences. However, most crops that have desirable consumer traits have been bred in conventional growing conditions, and their transfer to an organic setting is challenging. [...] Read more.
Interest in the development of organically grown vegetable crops has risen over the past decades due to consumer preferences. However, most crops that have desirable consumer traits have been bred in conventional growing conditions, and their transfer to an organic setting is challenging. Here, the organically grown Hawaiian pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) accession ‘Shima’ was crossed with the conventionally grown Puerto Rican variety ‘Taina Dorada’ to develop a backcross (BC1) population, where ‘Shima’ was the recurrent parent. A total of 202 BC1 (‘Shima’ X F1) progenies were planted in a certified organic field, and twelve traits were evaluated. We used genotype-by-sequencing (GBS) to identify the Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) associated with insect tolerance along with commercially desirable traits. A total of 1582 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified, from which 711 SNPs were used to develop a genetic map and perform QTL mapping. Reads associated with significant QTLs were aligned to the publicly available Cucurbita moschata genome and identified several markers linked to genes that have been previously reported to be associated with that trait in other crop systems, such as melon (Cucumis melo L.). This research provides a resource for marker-assisted selection (MAS) efforts in Cucurbita moschata, as well as serving as a model study to improve cultivars that are transitioning from a conventional to an organic setting. Full article
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