The unusual acid-accumulating behavior during ripening of cherimoya (Annona cherimola Mill.) is linked to changes in transcription and enzyme activity related to citric and malic acid metabolism
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Cherimoya (Annona cherimola Mill.) is a subtropical fruit characterized by a significant increase in organic acid levels during ripening, making it an interesting model for studying the relationship between acidity and fruit flavor. In this work, we focused on understanding the balance between the concentration of organic acids and the gene expression and activity of enzymes involved in the synthesis and degradation of these metabolites during the development and ripening of cherimoya cv. “Concha Lisa”. Our results showed an early accumulation of citric acid and other changes associated with the accumulation of transcripts encoding citrate catabolism enzymes. During ripening, a 2-fold increase in malic acid and a 6-fold increase in citric acid were detected. By comparing the contents of these compounds with gene expression and enzymatic activity levels, we determined that cytoplasmic NAD-dependent malate dehydrogenase (cyNAD-MDH) and mitochondrial citrate synthase (mCS) play important regulatory roles in the malic and citric acid biosynthetic pathways.