Journal of Berry Research - Volume Pre-press, issue Pre-press
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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: Fresh blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are gaining popularity for their pleasant flavour and health benefits. However, their fresh supply, and the potential for market growth, are still limited by their short shelf life and seasonality. High respiration rates, delicate structures and high susceptibility to fungal decay are the main factors limiting the storability of these berry types. Current industrial practice for a longer shelf life relies heavily on cold chain and high humidity storage conditions. This typically results in a shelf life of 2–4 weeks for blueberries, and 2–5 days for raspberries and blackberries. This review discusses novel postharvest technologies…from physico-chemical treatments (heat treatments, UV and edible coatings) to packaging-based solutions to improve the preservation of the freshness of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries through the supply chain. Sanitisation plays a crucial role in preventing fungal growth, while innovative packaging solutions act as complementary treatments to maintain quality attributes. The development and application of such technology combinations will increase berry shelf life, helping to satisfy the increasing global demand for these fresh berry products and improve consumer satisfaction.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Vaccinium is one of the largest genera (ca. 500 species) of Ericaceae, well known for its edible and ornamental uses. Although there is certain karyological knowledge, information about genome size (GS) is scarce in the genus. OBJECTIVE: The main goal is providing GS data for several Vaccinium species with prevalence in Europe and Western Asia and analysing global GS variation in the genus, considering available data and phylogenetic context. METHODS: New GS assessments were obtained by flow cytometry and chromosome counts were verified. Phylogenetic analyses (using nuclear ITS, and chloroplastic mat K and…ndh F) were performed by Bayesian inference and reconstruction of ancestral GS by maximum parsimony. RESULTS: We obtained GS data for five Vaccinium species (13 populations). Three species are reported for the first time. Values (2C) ranged between 1.16–1.47 pg at the diploid (2n = 24) and between 3.13–3.16 pg at the tetraploid (2n = 48) levels. The five species here investigated have been placed and analysed in a reconstructed phylogenetic background (including 68 taxa). CONCLUSIONS: GS values of Vaccinium can be considered “very small”. The preliminary reconstruction of ancestral GS would point to a reduction in Vaccinium , although more data is needed to establish global GS evolutionary trend in the genus.
Keywords: Berries, C-value, chromosome counts, flow cytometry, nuclear DNA amount, nuclear DNA content
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Grapes (Vitis vinifera ) are an important woody crop cultivated in a broad range of environmental conditions. Grapefruit development is a physiological process whose molecular regulatory networks are still not sufficiently investigated. OBJECTIVE: The primary aim of the work was to identify which key genes, molecular mechanisms and networks were involved in fruit ripening and development through a comparison of available transcriptomic data at different stages during grape development and ripening. Secondly, we aimed at identifying among these fruit-related genes, which genes play also a functional role in other developmental and physiological processes in reproductive tissues (bud…and flower). METHODS: The two objectives were obtained through a meta-analysis on 9 RNA-Sequencing (RNA-Seq) studies. Raw data was downloaded from publicly available resource and re-analyzed to find out the significant differentially expressed genes (DEGs) (p -value <0.05). Gene enrichment and functional analysis were done using MapMan and PageMan. DAVID web server was used to identify gene ontology. NetworkAnalyst was used for finding out the protein-protein interaction. RESULTS: 721 (178 were up-regulated and 534 were down-regulated) differentially regulated genes in fruit development were in common between all the four fruit studies. The gene set enrichment analysis performed on these commonly regulated genes showed that the following biological processes were significantly affected during the fruit development: induction of major CHO metabolism, starch and lactoylglutathione lyase and repression of cell wall-related pathways, photosynthesis and cytokinin synthesis. Some of the key genes involved in ethylene, brassinosteroid and cytokinin were down-regulated in the late stage of fruit ripening, while two key abscisic acid-related genes were up-regulated. Fruit ripening up-regulated some key genes encoding Homeobox (HB17), AP2EREBP (RAP2), C2C2-CO-like, WRKY (WRKY9), MYB (MYB62) while repressing several key genes encoding bHLH, MYBs, WRKYs and C2H2. CONCLUSION: This comprehensive meta-analysis allowed identifying which genes should be the main targets of a grape breeding strategy to improve physiological processes linked to fruit development and ripening. These data will be used for future sustainable biotechnologies strategies based on small-molecule treatments and genome editing.
Keywords: Berry ripening, fruit development, Vitis vinifera, meta-analysis, RNA-Seq, transcriptomics.
Abstract: Background: Phytotherapy has an important role in the functional gastrointestinal and motility disorder prevention and treatment. Objective: The aims of our study were to analyze the chemical composition and the antispasmodic activity of the dry black chokeberry ethanolic extract, waste extract and the juice in the isolated rat ileum. Methods: The anthocyanins and flavonoids quantification was carried out by the spectrophotometric method using the HPLC instrument. The study examined the influence of the chokeberry preparations and cyanidin-3-O -galactoside, the main anthocyanin compound, on the spontaneous, acetylcholine and KCl-induced ileum smooth muscle contraction, as well as on…the contractions induced by histamine, CaCl2 and BaCl2 and contractions in the presence of nitric oxide synthase inhibitor (L-NAME). Results: In all the examined preparations, the most abundant compounds were anthocyanins, especially cyanidin heterosides. The highest content of polyphenols and anthocyanins was found in the chokeberry waste extract. Among the chokeberry preparations, the ethanolic extract had the highest flavonoid concentration. The chokeberry preparations and cyanidin-3-O -galactoside in a concentration dependent manner significantly relaxed the rat ileum spontaneous and induced contractions. The results demonstrated that the nitric-oxide pathway was not involved in the relaxant activity of the chokeberry extracts and juice. Conclusions: The study demonstrated that the chokeberry preparations were able to relax contractions in the isolated rat ileum.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In Europe mulberry cultivation is attracting growing interest for the valuable nutraceutical properties of its fruit; however, mulberry orchards specialized in fruit production only are not very common, therefore an adequate harvesting technique has not been developed. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this work was to evaluate an innovative harvesting system in terms of efficiency and labour required, and to monitor fruit losses. METHODS: Harvesting operations were recorded during inspections to the field during the fruit ripening season; chemical assessment on fruit quality and mechanical tests on the detachment force of fruits at different ripening stage…were carried out. RESULTS: We described the structure and functions of the innovative system, its harvesting capacity (kg h–1 ) in comparison to traditional methods, the related losses, and the quality of collected fruits. CONCLUSIONS: The innovative harvesting system requires a minimum of four workers, but it results in a two to three-fold increase of the hourly productivity per person. Furthermore, it is constructionally and functionally very simple and it does not require important initial or maintenance investments. Overall the system can save labour costs and contribute to spreading of moriculture for fruit production.
Keywords: Mulberry fruits, sorosis, harvesting system, harvest losses, detachment force
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Black mulberry fruits have high antioxidant capacity, exhibiting health protective properties. In order to exploit their entire dynamic though, elite genotypes must be vegetatively propagated. OBJECTIVE: The purpose was to assess the physiological, organoleptic, phytochemical and anti-carcinogenic (only of the best two genotypes) properties of eleven new black mulberry genotypes, compared to the elite hybrid Fengchisang and the possibility of easy asexual propagation through semi-hardwood and hardwood cuttings. METHODS: Fruits from eleven genotypes were analyzed for their organoleptic and physiological characteristics as well as for their total phenol, o-diphenol, flavonoid, flavanol, anthocyanin content and their…organic acid and sugar composition. The best two were also tested for anti-carcinogenic properties. Furthermore, the rooting potential of semi-hardwood and hardwood cuttings was also investigated. RESULTS: The genotypes differed regarding fruit characteristics and rooting potential. The principal component analysis lead to a grouping of genotypes, while one, ANS8, was grouped separately, exhibiting high antioxidant capacity and phenol content. ANS8 genotype reduced cancer cells viability more efficiently compared to Fengchisang. CONCLUSIONS: The ANS8 genotype exhibited the highest antioxidant capacity, higher than Fengchisang and better anti-carcinogenic properties, which along with the ease of rooting, may become a valuable source of health promoting phytochemicals.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Murta, a native berry from southern Chile, has been used in Chilean folk medicine to treat inflammatory and infectious diseases among other ailments. OBJECTIVE: This work assessed the influence of different drying methods: freeze drying (FD), convective drying (CD), vacuum drying (VD), sun drying (SD), and infrared drying (IRD) on the antimicrobial activity of murta berries against four microbial species. METHODS: Murta berries were subjected to five drying methods. Measurement of bioactive compounds that include: phenolic compounds by HPLC, total flavonoid content by a spectrophotometric method; and anthocyanins by HPLC–MS. Determination of antioxidant capacity by…DPPH and ORAC methods and antimicrobial activity by means of agar well diffusion assay. RESULTS: Murta extracts obtained by FD and CD showed the highest antimicrobial activity, with Staphylococcus aureus the most susceptible species. Drying induced a significant loss of bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity although minimal losses were observed in FD, CD and VD extracts. In these extracts, the abundance of bioactive compounds correlated with the antimicrobial activity. Eight phenolic compounds were identified in murta extracts where pyrogallol’s abundance increased in all dried samples. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that murta dried with FD, CD and VD have the highest potential to be used as a functional ingredient in the food industry.
Abstract: The winter planting system is based on the use of the bare-root plant. It is used extensively in many strawberry cultivation areas characterized by mild winters. Bare-root plants have disadvantages and plug plants represent a valid alternative to the traditional bare-root plant. This study, conducted in Southern Italy, investigated the changes in the fruiting cycle of bare-root and plug plants of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa ), with a focus on fruit quality. Bare root and plug plants for three strawberry genotypes were planted in fields and the differences in yield, quality traits and main bioactive compounds were evaluated. The…plants were grown in Scanzano Jonico – Basilicata region (Southern Italy). Yield per plant, fruit size, total soluble solids content, titratable acidity, flesh firmness, skin colour, antioxidant activity (TAC), total phenols (TPH), total anthocyanins (TACY), ascorbic acid content (AA) and phenolic profile were determined. The results confirmed that the start of the harvest for plug plants was significantly earlier than for bare-root plants and plug plants also had higher productivity. The fruit size of plug plants was initially larger than for bare root plants but became significantly smaller when the production flow decreased in May. Plant type did not affect flesh firmness, while the sugar content was lower in plug plants. The fruit colour brightness was higher for plug plants in the first part of the harvest but reduced significantly in the second part. TPH was lower for plug plants, compared to bare-root plants, in the first part of the harvest but higher in the second part, when the fruit size of plug plants decreased significantly. TACY showed a considerable variability and was more influenced by the genotype rather than by the type of plant. Also, TAC, being correlated with TPH, had higher values in plug plants in the second part of the harvest, coinciding with the decrease in size. The content of the most important classes of individual polyphenols (anthocyanins and ellagitannins) was on average higher in plug plants than in bare-root plants. In summary, the plug plant had an early yield start with a production concentrated in March and early April, which is suitable for Mediterranean areas, but the quality traits showed a lot of variability from year to year. Keywords:
Abstract: BACKGROUND: By acidity, Al3+ available form increases, being toxic for plants. Calcium amendments are widely used as an agronomic practice to reduce this effect. OBJECTIVE: To determine the gypsum application effect on leaf morphological and physiological features on three highbush blueberry cultivars growing in acid soil and toxic Al level. METHODS: Legacy and Brigitta, Al-resistant and Bluegold, Al-sensitive were grown in acid soil with 48% Al saturation and three gypsum concentrations (0.7, 1.4, and 2.8 g CaSO4 kg–1 ) for 30 days. Chlorophyll a fluorescence measurements, photosynthesis, and photoprotective pigments were analyzed. Samples of…leaves and roots were harvested, and Al, Ca, and S concentrations, antioxidant activity (RSA), lipid peroxidation (LP), and leaf anatomy were determined. RESULTS: Gypsum decreased leaves and roots Al concentration in all cultivars. Higher Ca leaves concentration in cultivars was observed compared to roots under gypsum treatment. Aluminum damages were observed in leaf thickness, improving anatomic features in cultivars by gypsum as well as a reduction of LP without changes in RSA. Chlorophyll levels changed differentially according to the cultivar and CaSO4 dose, while antheraxanthin was higher in Legacy with gypsum. The Principal Component Analysis (PCA) scores plot showed that PC1 separated Brigitta from Legacy-Al resistant, while PC2 helped to discriminate Bluegold Al-sensitive cultivar with gypsum treatment from the rest of the samples, including Bluegold without gypsum. CONCLUSIONS: Gypsum amendment ameliorates leaf morphology alterations as well as photochemical and biochemical damages in highbush blueberry under Al-toxicity, being cultivar-dependent. The morphological parameters can be important features as Al-resistance anatomical markers in highbush blueberry.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Blueberries possess anthocyanins which exert cardiovascular benefits but little is known about the timeframe of these benefits. OBJECTIVES: Examine effects of blueberry (BB) or placebo (PL) on variables of blood pressure (BP), augmentation index (AIx), and pulse wave velocity (cPWV) each week for three weeks for chronic assessment and within 1 h and 2 h to assess acute effects in sedentary individuals. METHODS: Participants (N = 22), 40 to 70 years old were randomized into BB (n = 10) or PL (n = 12). Baseline values were obtained, participants consumed 38 g BB or PL/d for three weeks, and BP, AIx, and…cPWV were measured weekly. At the end of week three, 38 g of BB or PL were ingested and acute measures taken at one and two hours post-consumption. RESULTS: Chronic and acute ingestion resulted in significant Treatment-Time Interaction for systolic BP (SBP) (p = 0.030 and p = 0.017, respectively) with BB group being lower. Diastolic pressures were not affected. Chronic and acute Time (p = 0.029 and p = 0.021, respectively), but not Treatment or Interaction, effects existed for AIx. Acute Time effects existed for cPWV (p = 0.020) but not for Treatment or Interaction. CONCLUSIONS: Change in SBP was not mediated by vessel distensibility but was likely due to an unknown physiologic factor not examined.