POSTHARVEST SCIENCE TOWARD THE THIRD MILLENIUM*
The last century witnessed remarkable progress in several postharvest related science and technology areas, including elucidation of the ethylene biosynthesis pathway, identification of ethylene receptors, cloning of ripening/senescence-related genes, and application of biotechnology to enhance postharvest life of fruits. Already classical genetics is merging with direct gene manipulation and pyramiding of genes in producing transgenic plants with better quality (phytonutrients), longer shelf-life, and inbredtraits conferring resistance to postharvest pathogens. The new era will ensure clearer understanding of fundamental processes of structure-function, gene organization and gene regulation that govern plant growth, development and senescence. Acceptance of edible transgenic crops will depend on properly conducted and well-defined risk assessment studies, addressing the concerns of the consumer and educating him about value added attributes, for instance, enhanced levels of anti-aging compounds in vegetables and fruits made possible by genetic engineering. Another challenge is to devise ways of producing new crops in a cost-effective, profitable manner for marketing. In the 21st century, biotechnology, sniffers, computers and sensors will merge to help development of new methods to measure postharvest characteristics, store the produce, and re-design fruits and vegetables such that the quality attributes are maintained for a long time after harvest.
Mattoo, A.K. and Handa, A.K. (2001). POSTHARVEST SCIENCE TOWARD THE THIRD MILLENIUM*. Acta Hortic. 553, 761-767
Biotechnology, ethylene, plant hormone, polyamines, ripening, senescence