Submitted to: Postharvest Biology and Technology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/21/2007
Publication Date: 12/22/2008
Citation: Nambeesan, S., Handa, A.K., Mattoo, A.K. 2008. Polyamines and regulation of ripening and senescence. In: Paliyath, G., Murr, D.P., Handa, A.K., Lurie, S., editors. Postharvest Biology and Technology of Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. p. 319-340. Interpretive Summary: Biological revolution led by merging genetics with biotechnology is a recent development that has promising consequences for creating designer crops with better quality (phytonutrients), longer shelf-life, and other traits conferring resistance to post-harvest pathogens. A prerequisite for this to materialize requires unambiguous research data to provide the knowledge base needed to apply this technology to create plants precisely tailored to prevent fruit or produce loss normally incurred during harvesting, handling, transportation, storage and marketing. In this invited book chapter, we have summarized the literature on the current status on the role(s) of plant growth substances, the biogenic polyamines in influencing processes related to postharvest shelf life of produce. Although much information has been generated, clear understanding of the mechanisms of polyamines action is still in its infancy. The emerging technologies should substantially help in addressing the role polyamines play in postharvest biology which can, in turn, be applied to increase both quality and shelf-life of fresh produce. The information collated provides a single reference place for plant biologists, horticulturists and plant biotechnologists to look up what is current in this subject matter.
Technical Abstract: Polyamines (PAs) are small polycationic, biogenic amines that influence many biochemical and physiological processes such as cell division, cell elongation, flowering, fruit set and development, fruit ripening and senescence. Significant information about PA action has emerged from indirect studies employing pharmacological levels of different PAs and as well as their biosynthetic inhibitors. In recent years, reverse genetics approach has begun to provide direct evidence for involvement of PAs in determining fruit quality, ripening and processing attributes. Molecular aspects of PA action have also begun to emerge, especially from non-plant systems. The focus of this chapter is to review recent progress made in understanding the roles of PAs in plants with particular emphasis on post-harvest biological processes. In addition, literature on possible role of PAs in abiotic and biotic stresses is critically assessed.