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The main objective of the
Journal of Berry Research is to improve the knowledge about quality and production of berries to benefit health of the consumers and maintain profitable production using sustainable systems.
The objective will be achieved by focusing on four main areas of research and development:
1. From genetics to variety evaluation
2. Nursery production systems and plant quality control
3. Plant physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, as well as cultural management
4. Health for the consumer: components and factors affecting berries' nutritional value
Specifically, the journal will cover berries (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, cranberry currants, etc.), as well as grapes and small soft fruit in general (e.g., kiwi fruit). It will publish research results covering all areas of plant breeding, including plant genetics, genomics, functional genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, plant physiology, plant pathology and plant development, as well as results dealing with the chemistry and biochemistry of bioactive compounds contained in such fruits and their possible role in human health. Contributions detailing possible pharmacological, medical or therapeutic use or dietary significance will be welcomed in addition to studies regarding biosafety issues of genetically modified plants.
Journal of Berry Research will feature reviews, research articles, brief communications, position papers, letters and patent updates.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Lower risk of digestive tract cancer development has been associated with polyphenol intake. Bactris guineensis is an edible endemic palm that grows in Central and South America. OBJECTIVE: This study performs a phenolic characterization of Bactris guineensis and evaluates the bioactivity of this fruit. METHODS: The phenolic compounds of B. guineensis were characterized by HPLC-UV-HRMS analyses and the antioxidant activity was measured by chemical and cellular methods. Additionally, cytotoxicity of B. guineensis polyphenols was performed on 4 cancer cell lines and the pro-apoptotic effect was evaluated by flow cytometry using annexin…staining. RESULTS: The major phenolic compounds of B. guineensis were proanthocyanidins. The extract IC50 for DPPH was 3.3±0.2 μg/mL and for induced intracellular ROS was 153±13 μg/mL. MTT cytotoxic assays demonstrate IC50 values between 16.6 and 24.9 μg/mL for the colon and hepatic adenocarcinomas, with high selectivity effects towards cancer cells compared to non-tumor cells. A 20 to 50% early apoptotic effect was observed in cancer cells lines by Annexin/PI staining. CONCLUSIONS: B. guineensis evidenced an important radical scavenging activity and a strong cytotoxic activity against hepatic and colorectal carcinoma cells, showing better values than procyanidin extracts from other fruits previously described.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The pathway of anthocyanin biosynthesis, and its alterations leading to berry colour modification, are well known in grape skin. This variability could affect both quantity and quality of pigment accumulation. OBJECTIVE: The present work is focused on 15 grapevine cultivars selected to represent a high variability in the phenotypical colour traits in order to highlight new polymorphisms related to the flavonoid pathway. METHODS: Twenty-one genes involved in the biosynthetic pathway of anthocyanins were studied via targeted resequencing and were correlated with phenotypic data (anthocyanin profiles and spectroscopy indices). RESULTS: Single nucleotide polymorphism…(SNP) and InDel (insertion/deletion) polymorphisms were detected. Out of 1751 polymorphic loci, 68% were SNPs and 32% were InDels (568). Cluster analysis and SPLS-DA were used to investigate the genetic relationships among the cultivars, confirming the large range of phenotypical variability. Statistically significant correlations were detected between accumulation of cyanidin-based anthocyanins and genetic polymorphisms in two structural genes and one transcription factor putatively involved in the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway. CONCLUSIONS: The understanding of the polymorphisms related to the anthocyanin accumulation could support future selection of new pink table grape varieties with increased appeal on the consumers.
Keywords: Colour, flavonoid, grape, InDel, pink berry, polymorphisms, SNP
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The new approach of using UV-C irradiation followed by a specific dark period to control plant diseases has the potential to become a mainstream treatment in the production of strawberries and other fruits and vegetables. Thus, it is imperative to study the effects of this treatment on fruit quality. METHODS: In this study, short-day ‘Chandler’ strawberry plants grown in growth chamber from bloom to harvest were irradiated twice a week with nighttime UV-C light (253 nm peak value 12.36 J m–2 and the total dose of 50 J m–2 in the range of 240 –260 nm). The…effects on the content of key phenolic compounds in mature fruit were studied with targeted analysis and a non-targeted metabolomic approach based on ultra-high performance liquid chromatography high resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-HRMS). Analysis of variance-principal component analysis (ANOVA-PCA) was used to associate variance with different experimental factors. RESULTS: Results indicate that the content of anthocyanins, glucosides and glucuronides of quercetin and kaempferol, catechin, pelargonidin rutinoside, and ellagic acid was not affected by UV-C treatment. ANOVA-PCA analysis of the metabolomic dataset showed no significant differences in composition and content of strawberry metabolites between UV-C and control groups; however, differences were observed between harvest times. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings strongly indicate that UV-C treatment of 50 J/m2 twice per week did not affect nutritional values of strawberry fruit. The metabolomic approach combined with ANOVA-PCA used to evaluate strawberry fruit quality after UV-C irradiation proved to be a very powerful tool in providing an overall insight into fruit quality and accurately determines the influence of each experimental factor.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Berry processing residues called pomaces are rich in polyphenols, sugars, organic acids, and minerals. Polyphenols are reported to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes mellitus, owing to their anti-inflammatory activity. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to assess the anti-inflammatory properties of five Vaccinium spp . berry pomace extracts using LPS-stimulated THP-1 monocytes and a COX-2 inhibition assay. METHODS: THP-1 monocytes were pre-incubated with chemically characterized bilberry, blueberry, American cranberry, bog cranberry, and lingonberry pomace extracts following LPS stimulation. NF-κ B nuclear translocation was assessed by flow cytometry. TNF-α , MMP-9, IL-23,…IL-10, IL-1β , CCL22, and IL-8 secretion was analyzed in cell culture supernatant by using Luminex assay and ELISA. The expression of IL-6 , TNF- α , IL-10, IL-23 , and TGF- β 1 was assessed by qPCR, and COX-2 activity was determined by a fluorometric inhibition assay. RESULTS: All berry pomace extracts tested, except for lingonberry, inhibited LPS-induced NF-κ B nuclear translocation. All five extracts significantly downregulated the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inhibited COX-2 activity in vitro . CONCLUSIONS: Vaccinium spp . pomace extracts demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties in an LPS-stimulated THP-1 cell inflammation model and inhibited COX-2 activity. Thus, Vaccinium spp. berry pomace extracts could serve as a valuable source of anti-inflammatory compounds.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: High anthocyanin content and the presence of other bioactive compounds are attractive characteristics of strawberry fruits for healthy consumption. OBJECTIVES: To characterize the anthocyanin content and the presence of other bioactive compounds, including anthocyanin (total and predominant types) andantioxidant activity; and to determine the physico-chemical fruit quality parameters of two new strawberry cultivars. METHOD: Fruits of two new hybrids were extracted and total anthocyanin and antioxidant activity were determined usinga UV-Vis spectrophotometer. Individual anthocyanins and vitamin C were measured using an HPLC. Physico-chemical characteristics of fruits were analyzed. RESULTS: Hybrid No. 4 line 5…and hybrid No. 4 line 26 are two potential new strawberry cultivars that are rich in anthocyanins. The total anthocyanin contents of these two hybrids were approximately 31–38 mg/100 g FW with no significant differences between them. Cyanidin 3-glucoside and pelargonidin 3-glucoside were foundat amounts of approximately 15–24 mg/kgFW and 332–478 mg/kg FW, respectively. Total phenolic compounds and FRAP activity of the two hybrids were approximately 2295–2579 mg GAE/kgFWand 27–30 mmol Fe2 + /kg FW, respectively. CONCLUSION: The two new hybrid strawberry lines, hybrid No. 4 line 5 and No. 4 line 26, when compared to the parents, had higher levels of bioactive compounds, especially anthocyanins, total phenolics, and FRAP, together with improved physico-chemical quality, and higher vitamin C content. These results indicate a considerable potential of these hybrids for commercial cultivation in Thailand and other production regions.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The predicted and ongoing climate warming can have far-reaching effects on plant growth and life cycle. Therefore, there is need for simple and convenient methods for analysis and monitoring of consequences of the ongoing warming. OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the usefulness of so-called climate-photothermographs for studying the consequences of the ongoing warming for production of berry crops. METHODS: Local photothermal climates can be expressed by so-called climate-photothermographs, which show the relationship between temperature and daylength for each month of the year in a rectangular coordinate diagram. When superimposing critical response curves for plant development processes on…top of such a diagram, the limitations of the given climate for fulfilment of the processes can be readily assessed. RESULTS: Consequences of 2°C warming for critical development processes such as transition to flowering and breaking of winter dormancy in the berry crops raspberry, black currant and strawberry were clearly exposed by the technique. The locations Geisenheim, Germany and Ås, Norway were used as examples. Inadequate winter chill was identified as the most limiting factor for these crops. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the technique is an efficient and convenient tool for monitoring the consequences of climate warming for berry crops.
Keywords: Berry crops, climate-photothermographs, climate warming, photoperiod, temperature
Abstract: BACKGROUND: It is known that 1-MCP delays softening in kiwifruit. Time to ripen (eating-window) and its variability are considered useful for planning commercial strategies. However, few studies report the firmness and quality changes during long-term cold storage. OBJECTIVES: To study the effects on ripening and sensory attributes of different 1-MCP treatments during long (180 d) and very long-term (≥210 d) cold storage. Then, the optimal 1-MCP dose was applied to determine the time to ripen after cold storage for 30 to 240 d. METHODS: Kiwifruits were treated with 1-MCP: 0.0 (control), 0.5 and 1.0μ L L–1…. Maturity indices and sensory analysis were achieved after 180 and 210 d of storage at 0 °C. Ethylene production was also measured. Firmness and number of fruits at eating-ripe state (at 20 °C) were monthly determined after 30 to 240 d of cold storage. RESULTS: 1-MCP (1.0μ L L–1 ) delayed kiwifruit softening and prolonged the storage to up 180 d. Longer periods were associated to losses due to over-ripe. Eating windows of 1-MCP-treated fruits were longer than those for untreated fruits. CONCLUSIONS: 1.0μ L L–1 1-MCP extends the postharvest life of ‘Hayward’ kiwifruit and prolongs the eating window, allowing to plan different commercialization strategies.
Keywords: softening, quality, 1-methylcyclopropene, very long-term cold storage
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Strawberry is usually cultivated in unheated glasshouses or outdoors, suffering many times by low temperatures during the winter period, with the danger of plant losses. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the efficacy of various alleviating agents against chilling and freezing stress. METHODS: Strawberry plants were foliarly treated with various alleviating substances, i.e. glycine betaine, trehalose, salicylic acid and proline and exposed to 5 °C (chilling treatment) for three weeks followed by a three hour exposure to – 10 °C (freezing treatment), while control plants were growing under 20 °C. At the end of each period polyamine and…carbohydrate concentration, antioxidant enzymes activities, total phenols and proline concentration, chlorophyll concentration, lipid peroxidation, electrolyte leakage and H2 O2 production in the leaves were measured. RESULTS: All applied products alleviated chilling stress, inducing lower electrolyte leakage, but higher sucrose and fructose concentration in the leaves compared to control. Under freezing temperature, salicylic acid proved to be the most efficient based on the lowest leaf damage observed, followed by trehalose and proline. CONCLUSIONS: Salicylic acid was the best alleviation agent based on leaf damage evaluation, by inducing low chlorophyll a degradation, low superoxide dismoutase, peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase activities as well as low putrescine concentration.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Blackberries have a high content of bioactive compounds such as anthocyanins and ellagitannins, which are associated with health benefits against cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and other inflammatory conditions. OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the effect of a tropical highland blackberry (Rubus adenotrichos Schltdl.) beverage (50% v/v) on lipids, glucose and antioxidant parameters of healthy individuals. METHODS: Thirteen healthy individuals of both sexes were assigned into two groups in a randomized crossover design. Each participant was subjected to a high fat and high carbohydrate diet challenge and drank 250 mL of either blackberry beverage or water with…every meal, three times a day for 14 days. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, glucose level, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT) enzymatic activities were assessed from plasma. RESULTS: Plasma levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, and glucose levels significantly decreased (p < 0.05) after consuming the blackberry beverage. Changes in LDL and HDL cholesterol levels were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). CAT and SOD enzymatic activities increased slightly, although not statistically significant (p > 0.05). CONCLUSION: Drinking a beverage from a blackberry micro-filtered juice improved plasma lipid and glucose profiles, as well as CATand SOD enzymatic activities in healthy participants.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Long non-coding ribonucleic acids (lncRNAs) have been linked to many important biological processes, including fruit ripening. “Fengzao” is an early-ripening bud mutant of “Kyoho” that matures nearly 30 days earlier. However, the molecular networks controlling early ripening in Fengzao are still poorly understood in comparison to those in Kyoho. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to gain a better understanding of the regulatory role of lncRNAs in the early ripening of grape berries. METHODS: The RNA-sequencing approach and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction validation were employed to identify lncRNAs and profile their expression patterns…during berry development. RESULTS: In total, 24726 lncRNAs were identified, of which 19699 were differentially expressed (DE-lncRNAs) between developmental stages. The target genes of these lncRNAs and their regulatory relationships were predicted. The oxidoreductase activity, plant–pathogen interaction, plant hormone signal transduction, and flavanol biosynthesis pathways were enriched in the target genes of DE-lncRNAs, and six key lncRNAs (TCONS_00221683, TCONS_00684459, TCONS_00022149, TCONS_00167247, TCONS_00258125, and TCONS_00261813) were identified that may regulate the early ripening of grape berries. CONCLUSIONS: The results contribute to the understanding of the role of lncRNAs in early ripening of grape berries and will provide new insights for molecular breeding of grapes.
Keywords: Long non-coding RNA, fruit ripening, RNA sequencing, grape