Department of Food Science & Technology, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117542, Singapore; National University of Singapore (Suzhou) Research Institute, 377 Lin Quan Street, Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]
Banana is highly susceptible to low temperature and salicylic acid (SA) can effectively improve the chilling tolerance. The metabolic changes of SA induced chilling responses of banana were studied. Bananas normally ripened under 15 °C and dramatic metabolic difference compared with other groups was recorded. Accumulation of glucose (>1.5 folds) and consumption of unsaturated fatty acids (11.0-16.5%) were observed. The glycolysis was induced to compensate the decreased energy charge. Low temperature (6 °C) caused chilling damage and metabolites including glutamine, serine, and glucose were related to chilled bananas. Various physiological changes such as sugar metabolism and consumption of reducing substances occurred to adapt the cold stress. SA released the cold injury and the disaccharides were increased by 18.1-21.4%. Further analysis revealed the synthesis of unsaturated fatty acids, amino acids such as proline, and enhanced energy charge. Thus, SA increased the chilling tolerance via a number of different metabolic mechanisms.