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Preharvest UV-C radiation triggers accumulation of volatile organic compounds in strawberry leaves.

Yanqun Xu, Zisheng Luo , Marie Thérèse Charles, Daniel Rolland. Preharvest UV-C radiation triggers accumulation of volatile organic compounds in strawberry leaves. Joint Annual Conference for the Canadian Society of Agronomy and the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science, La Plaza, Montreal, QC, Canada, 24-26 July, 2016 (Oral presentation)


The role of plant volatiles as semiochemicals in both biotic and abiotic interactions is well characterized. Plant volatiles act as pollinator attractants, are deterrents to natural enemies (herbivores, pathogens, and pests), and are involved in intra- and inter-plant signaling and direct defense. Recent studies have highlighted that preharvest UV C can be an environmentally friendly approach to limit disease development in growing plants. In an attempt to understand the mode of action of preharvest UV C, a preliminary study was conducted to evaluate the potential impact of that treatment on strawberry semiochemicals. Growth-chamber-grown strawberry plants were exposed to UV C radiation at 3 different dosages from flower set until fruit ripening, for a period of 7 weeks. Fully expanded leaves were collected at the end of the survey period. A total of 41 volatile compounds were identified by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Of that total, 29 were significantly influenced by preharvest UV C treatment in a dose-dependent manner. Partial least square discriminant analysis revealed that 26 volatiles, 18 of which were fatty-acid-derived volatiles, were significantly affected by preharvest UV C radiation. Among the identified volatiles, a subset of 9 fatty-acid-derived volatiles and 3 isoprene-derived volatiles (acetone, hexanal, (E) 2-hexenal, 2-hexenal, (Z) 3-hexen-1 ol, 1 hexanol, heptanal, 1 octen-3 ol, nonanal, cis-linalool oxide, linalool, and β pinene) have been described in the literature for their role in plant–microbe interactions. Based on these observations, it is worth suggesting that changes in the volatile profile may be an integrated part of the lower disease incidence that occurs in strawberry plants treated with preharvest UV C radiation.

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