Exploring priming responses involved in peach fruit acclimation to cold stress

Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 12;7(1):11358. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-11933-3.


Cold storage of fruit may induce the physiological disorder chilling injury (CI); however, the molecular basis of CI development remains largely unexplored. Simulated conditions of CI priming and suppression provided an interesting experimental system to study cold response in fruit. Peaches (cv. June Gold) at the commercial harvest (CH) or tree-ripe (TR) stages were immediately exposed to cold treatment (40 d, 0 °C) and an additional group of CH fruits were pre-conditioned 48 h at 20 °C prior to low-temperature exposure (pre-conditioning, PC). Following cold treatment, the ripening behaviour of the three groups of fruits was analysed (3 d, 20 °C). Parallel proteomic, metabolomic and targeted transcription comparisons were employed to characterize the response of fruit to CI expression. Physiological data indicated that PC suppressed CI symptoms and induced more ethylene biosynthesis than the other treatments. Differences in the protein and metabolic profiles were identified, both among treatments and before and after cold exposure. Transcriptional expression patterns of several genes were consistent with their protein abundance models. Interestingly, metabolomic and gene expression results revealed a possible role for valine and/or isoleucine in CI tolerance. Overall, this study provides new insights into molecular changes during fruit acclimation to cold environment.

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization*
  • Cold-Shock Response*
  • Ethylenes / biosynthesis
  • Fruit / genetics*
  • Fruit / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Phenotype
  • Proteome
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Prunus persica / genetics*
  • Prunus persica / metabolism*
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Temperature
  • Transcriptome


  • Ethylenes
  • Proteome
  • ethylene