Department of Postharvest Science of Fresh Produce, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
Inoculation of avocado pericarp tissue with Colletotrichum gloeospori-oides and treatment of avocado cell cultures with the cell wall elicitor of C. gloeosporioidesboth increased the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, whereas the production of ROS could be detected within minutes in avocado cell suspensions, it was detected only after 2 h following inoculation of pericarp tissue. Protein kinase inhibitors such as K-252a and staurosporine and the phosphatase inhibitor microcystin-LR inhibited the release of H2O2 from avocado cell suspensions. When 1 mM H2O2 was exogenously applied to pericarp tissue, it enhanced ROS, phenyl-alanine ammonia lyase (PAL) activity, and epicatechin levels. But, when H2O2 treatment was applied following staurosporine treatment, PAL activity was no longer induced. The uninduced ROS production in pericarp tissue of freshly harvested, unripe, resistant fruit was twice as high as in ripe, susceptible fruit. Challenge inoculation of resistant fruit further increased the ROS level; however, this increase did not occur in susceptible fruits. The current findings are consistent with the hypothesis that production of ROS is induced by fungal infection of unripe fruits and, consequently, may modulate resistance, resulting in the inhibition of fungal development and quiescence.