Differential Phenolic Compounds and Hormone Accumulation Patterns between Early- And Mid-Maturing Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium L.) Cultivars during Fruit Development and Ripening

Claudio Ponce, Nathalie Kuhn, Macarena Arellano, Alson Time, Salvatore Multari, Stefan Martens, Esther Carrera, Boris Sagredo, José Manuel Donoso, Lee A. Meisel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Color acquisition is one of the most distinctive features of fruit development and ripening processes. The color red is closely related to the accumulation of polyphenolic compounds, mainly anthocyanins, during sweet cherry fruit maturity. In non-climacteric fruit species like sweet cherry, the maturity process is mainly controlled by the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA), though other hormones may also play a role. However, the coordinated stage-specific production of polyphenolic compounds and their relation with hormone content variations have not been studied in depth in sweet cherry fruits. To further understand the accumulation dynamics of these compounds (hormones and metabolites) during fruit development, two sweet cherry cultivars ("Lapins"and "Glenred") with contrasting maturity timing phenotypes were analyzed using targeted metabolic analysis. The ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) approach revealed that phenolic acids, flavonols, and flavan-3-ols accumulated mainly until the straw-yellow stage in the early-maturing cultivar, while accumulation was mainly at the green stage in the mid-maturing cultivar, suggesting a cultivar-dependent stage-specific production of secondary metabolites. In the mid-maturing cultivar, anthocyanins were detected only from the red stage onward, whereas detection began at the pink stage in the early-maturing cultivar. ABA negatively correlated (p-value < 0.05) with the flavonols and flavan-3-ols in both cultivars. ABA and anthocyanin content increased at the same time in the early-season cultivar. In contrast, anthocyanins accumulated and the pink color initiation started several days after the ABA increase in the mid-maturing cultivar. Differential accumulation patterns of GA4, a ripening antagonizing hormone, between the cultivars could explain this difference. These results showed that both red-colored cultivars presented different accumulation dynamics of phenolic compounds and plant hormones during fruit development, suggesting underlying differences in the sweet cherry fruit color evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8850-8860
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number31
StatePublished - 11 Aug 2021


  • IAD
  • anthocyanins
  • flavonoid pathway
  • fruit ripening
  • non-climacteric
  • plant hormones
  • polyphenolics
  • sweet cherry


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential Phenolic Compounds and Hormone Accumulation Patterns between Early- And Mid-Maturing Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium L.) Cultivars during Fruit Development and Ripening'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this