Acetyl-coa: alcohol acetyltransferase activity and aroma formation in ripening melon fruits

J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Feb;49(2):794-9. doi: 10.1021/jf001075p.


Melon varieties (Cucumis melo L.) differ in a range of physical and chemical attributes. Sweetness and aroma are two of the most important factors in fruit quality and consumer preference. Volatile acetates are major components of the headspace of ripening cv. Arava fruits, a commercially important climacteric melon. In contrast, volatile aldehydes and alcohols are most abundant in cv. Rochet fruits, a nonclimacteric melon. The formation of volatile acetates is catalyzed by alcohol acetyltransferases (AAT), which utilize acetyl-CoA to acetylate several alcohols. Cell-free extract derived from Arava ripe melons exhibited substantial levels of AAT activity with a variety of alcohol substrates, whereas similar extracts derived from Rochet ripe melons had negligible activity. The levels of AAT activity in unripe Arava melons were also low but steadily increased during ripening. In contrast, similar extracts from Rochet fruits displayed low AAT activity during all stages of maturation. In addition, the benzyl- and 2-phenylethyl-dependent AAT activity levels seem well correlated with the total soluble solid content in Arava fruits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / analysis*
  • Acetyl Coenzyme A / metabolism
  • Acetyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Alcohols / analysis
  • Aldehydes / analysis
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Cucurbitaceae / enzymology
  • Cucurbitaceae / physiology*
  • Kinetics
  • Odorants*
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Acetates
  • Alcohols
  • Aldehydes
  • Acetyl Coenzyme A
  • Acetyltransferases