Fruit Softening: Revisiting the Role of Pectin

Wang D., Yeats T. H., Uluisik S., Rose J. K., Seymour G. B.

Trends in Plant Science, vol.23, no.4, pp.302-310, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.tplants.2018.01.006
  • Journal Name: Trends in Plant Science
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.302-310
  • Keywords: cell wall, fruit, pectin, softening, tomato
  • Hakkari University Affiliated: Yes


Fruit softening, which is a major determinant of shelf life and commercial value, is the consequence of multiple cellular processes, including extensive remodeling of cell wall structure. Recently, it has been shown that pectate lyase (PL), an enzyme that degrades de-esterified pectin in the primary wall, is a major contributing factor to tomato fruit softening. Studies of pectin structure, distribution, and dynamics have indicated that pectins are more tightly integrated with cellulose microfibrils than previously thought and have novel structural features, including branches of the main polymer backbone. Moreover, recent studies of the significance of pectinases, such as PL and polygalacturonase, are consistent with a causal relationship between pectin degradation and a major effect on fruit softening.