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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Effects of anti-herbivore resistance on sensory characteristics and ripening of strawberry

Stenberg, Johan A.; Egan, Paul A.; Mora, Jose; Osorio, Sonia; Vallarino, Jose G.; Wendin, Karin


Plant resistance to agricultural pests is a fundamental element of sustainable crop protection. However, concerns have been raised that strategies to increase resistance may involve phytochemicals that impact fruit ripening and the sensorial perception of the fruit. Here, we experimentally tested for these putative resistance effects by contrasting susceptible varieties of strawberry (Fragaria vesca) with varieties that were either constitutively resistant to pest insects or with resistance induced with jasmonic acid (JA). GC-MS analysis identified 11 volatile compounds, including alcohols, aldehydes, lactone, terpenoids, and esters, which showed higher concentrations in fruits from resistant/induced plants. Fruits from induced plants ripened faster in the field. In sensory analyses, using a trained analytical panel, some variation between the sensory profiles of the strawberry varieties was detected, but we found no systematic correlations between sensory attributes and the level of plant resistance/induction in the varieties. These results suggest that increased plant resistance comes with positive effects of early ripening, while not strongly affecting the overall sensory experience.


Fragaria vesca; Insect herbivory; Methyl anthranilate; Plant defense; Plant resistance; Sensory profile

Published in

Scientia Horticulturae
2023, Volume: 322, article number: 112434
Publisher: ELSEVIER