Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Applied Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, South China Botanical Garden, Guangzhou 510650, People's Republic of China. Electronic address: [Email]
Aromatic secondary metabolites are closely related to quality attributes of postharvest fruit. In the present study, 20% CO2 was applied to strawberry fruit to investigate the regulation of elevated CO2 on aromatic secondary metabolites. The results showed that elevated CO2 delayed accumulations of anthocyanins, eugenol and lignin. Phenylalanine and tyrosine, the precursors of the above secondary metabolites, were 18.90% and 35.61%, respectively, lower in CO2-treated fruit compared with the control on day 6. Furthermore, enzyme activities and transcriptional profiles analysis showed pentose phosphate pathway and glycolysis were activated by elevated CO2 whereas the aromatic amino acids (AAAs) pathway was inhibited. These results indicated that elevated CO2 restricted carbon flux into aromatic secondary metabolism by inhibiting the AAAs pathway, leading to the decrease of phenylalanine and tyrosine, and thus, delayed the accumulation of aromatic secondary metabolites. In addition, the effect of elevated CO2 was eliminated after transferred CO2-treated fruit to air.