Submitted to: Postharvest Biology and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/14/2010
Publication Date: 12/18/2011
Citation: Hertog, M., Rudell Jr, D.R., Pedreschi, R., Schaffer, R.J., Geeraerd, A.H., Nicolai, B., Ferguson, I. 2011. Where systems biology meets postharvest. Postharvest Biology and Technology. 62:223-237. Interpretive Summary: Understanding how biochemistry changes during the life-cycle of fruit and vegetables, especially during the postharvest period is important for comprehending how our storage practices affect both useful and detrimental changes in commodities as well as developing new ways to help predict and maintain quality. Broad, untargeted sampling of fruit chemicals simultaneously allows a systemic interpretation of metabolism in response to postharvest environment as well as genotype. Comprehensive interpretation of metabolism under these conditions can be used to develop new technology including storage or supply-chain management and early selection tools that can accelerate fruit breeding.
Technical Abstract: Interpreting fruit metabolism, particularly tree fruit metabolism, presents unique challenges. Long periods from tree establishment to fruiting render techniques directed towards reducing the complexity of metabolic mechanisms, such as genomic modification, relatively difficult. Consequently, holistic, integrated genomics-based approaches used to evaluate experimentally-induced perturbations, development, or breeding accessions have become attractive alternatives. Comprehensive metabolic profiling can be used to reveal metabolic mechanisms, develop diagnostic biomarkers, and select markers to be employed for more informed breeding decisions.