Exogenous melatonin reduces lignification and retains quality of green asparagus (Asparagus officinalis l.)

Athip Boonsiriwit, Myungho Lee, Minhwi Kim, Pontree Itkor, Youn Suk Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) is highly perishable because of its high respiration rate, which continues after harvesting and leads to weight loss, increased hardness, color change, and limited shelf life. Melatonin is an indoleamine that plays an important role in abiotic stress. This study was designed to investigate the effects of melatonin on the quality attributes of green asparagus during cold storage. Green asparagus was soaked in a melatonin solution (50, 100, and 200 µM) for 30 min and then stored at 4C under 90% relative humidity for 25 days. The results indicated that melatonin treatment delayed the post-harvest senescence of asparagus and maintained high chlorophyll and vitamin C levels. Melatonin treatment hindered phenylalanine ammonia-lyase and peroxidase activities and reduced lignin content, thereby delaying the increase in firmness. Moreover, melatonin treatment enhanced catalase and superoxide dismutase activities, leading to reduced hydrogen peroxide content. These results indicate that melatonin treatment can be used to maintain the post-harvest quality and prolong the shelf life of green asparagus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2111
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (IPET) through the Agricultural Export Business Model Development Program, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (MAFRA; 319091-03).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science


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