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Epicuticular Wax in Developing Olives (Olea europaea) Is Highly Dependent upon Cultivar and Fruit Ripeness

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journal contribution
posted on 12.07.2016, 00:00 by Stefania Vichi, Nuria Cortés-Francisco, Josep Caixach, Gonçal Barrios, Jordi Mateu, Antonia Ninot, Agustí Romero
The epicuticular wax (EW) layer is located on the surface of most plant organs. It provides the cuticle with most of its properties and is the primary barrier against biotic and abiotic stress. Despite the importance of Olea europaea cultivation, few studies have characterized the EW covering leaves and olives, which could be involved in resistance to both infection and environmental conditions. In the present study, wide-ranging screening was carried out using direct-injection electrospray ionization coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry to analyze EW in developing olives of nine varieties. The proportions of EW fractions [wax esters (WEs), diacylglycerols, triacylglycerols (TAGs), triterpenic acids, and aldehydes] strongly depended upon the olive cultivar and, in only a few cases, were influenced by the sampling date. The specific compositions of the major fractions, WEs and TAGs, were strictly related to the cultivar, while the degree of unsaturation and chain length of the WEs evolved throughout the 4 weeks prior to the olive turning color.