6-Benzylaminopurine improves the quality of harvested litchi fruit.
6-Benzylaminopurine (BAP), a synthetic cytokinin, can elicit plant growth and development by stimulating cell division. In this study, the effects of BAP on decay and pericarp browning of harvested litchi fruit in relation to phenolics and ROS metabolism were investigated. Application of BAP significantly inhibited decay incidence of harvested litchi, associated with a direct inhibition on Peronophythora litchii, the major pathogenic fungi. In addition, BAP-treated fruit showed significantly lower pericarp browning, accompanied by reduced PPO activity, increased PAL activity and higher contents of anthocyanin and total phenolic compounds. Moreover, BAP reduced H2O2 accumulation and lipid peroxidation, which may account for browning inhibition to an extent. Furthermore, higher activities of SOD, CAT and APX and DPPH radical scavenging capacity in BAP-treated fruit possibly benefited reducing ROS accumulation and lipid peroxidation. Overall, application of BAP showed great potential to control decay and browning and extend shelf life of harvested litchi.