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Fruit development of the diploid kiwifruit, Actinidia chinensis 'Hort16A'

Annette C Richardson1, Helen L Boldingh2, Peter A McAtee34, Kularajathevan Gunaseelan3, Zhiwei Luo3, Ross G Atkinson3, Karine M David4, Jeremy N Burdon3 and Robert J Schaffer34*

Author Affiliations

1 The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited (PFR), PO Box 23, Kerikeri, 0245, New Zealand

2 PFR Ruakura, Private Bag 3123, Hamilton, 3214, New Zealand

3 PFR Mount Albert Private Bag 92169, Auckland, 1142, New Zealand

4 The University of Auckland, School of Biological Sciences, Private Bag 92019 Auckland, 1142, New Zealand

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BMC Plant Biology 2011, 11:182  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-11-182

Published: 28 December 2011



With the advent of high throughput genomic tools, it is now possible to undertake detailed molecular studies of individual species outside traditional model organisms. Combined with a good understanding of physiological processes, these tools allow researchers to explore natural diversity, giving a better understanding of biological mechanisms. Here a detailed study of fruit development from anthesis through to fruit senescence is presented for a non-model organism, kiwifruit, Actinidia chinensis ('Hort16A').


Consistent with previous studies, it was found that many aspects of fruit morphology, growth and development are similar to those of the model fruit tomato, except for a striking difference in fruit ripening progression. The early stages of fruit ripening occur as the fruit is still growing, and many ripening events are not associated with autocatalytic ethylene production (historically associated with respiratory climacteric). Autocatalytic ethylene is produced late in the ripening process as the fruit begins to senesce.


By aligning A. chinensis fruit development to a phenological scale, this study provides a reference framework for subsequent physiological and genomic studies, and will allow cross comparison across fruit species, leading to a greater understanding of the diversity of fruits found across the plant kingdom.