INTRODUCTION. In the model plant Arabidopsis, which has dry fruits, a high-level regulatory network of transcription factors controlling fruit development has been revealed. 53, No 377, October 2002). Fruit development and ripening is a complex process controlled by transcriptional regulation networks (Seymour and Granell. The growers pick the bananas when they are mature and ship them when they are unripe. In general, the fruit developmental stages are classified broadly into three phases viz., Phase 1: Ovary development, Fertilization, and Fruit set, Phase 2: Cell division, Seed formation, and Early embryo • The stage of development when a plant or plant part possesses the prerequisites for utilization by consumers for a particular purpose Stages of Fruit Development John O’Neill Ripening • The set of processes that occur from the later stages of growth and development through the early stages of With the development of the fruit trade, fruits are now exported to distant lands across the world. The role of ethylene in fruit ripening has already been discussed earlier. Avocado Fruit Ripening 238 Fruit development and ripening are unique to plants and represent an important component of human and animal diets. Fruit development and maturation does not necessarily go hand in hand with ripening. Take those bananas, for instance. Blueberry, Stone fruit) and triple sigmoid growth curve (kiwifruit) (Reid et al. Avocado Fruit Development and Ripening Physiology John P. Bower and Jonathan G. Cutting Citrus and Subtropical Fruit Research Institute, P/Bag X11208, Nelspruit 1200, South Africa I. Hormonal Control of Fruit Ripening: The control of maturation and initiation of fruit ripening is believed to be due to interac­tion and balance between promotory and inhibitory effects of different phytohormones. Introduction 229 II. Fruit ripening is a complex process, accomplished through several physiological, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms. Avocado Fruit Development 230 A. Artificial method of ripening. Ripening may be part of the fruit maturation process, but not always. Studies on rare nonripening mutations in tomato, a model for fleshy fruits, have provided new insights into the networks responsible for the control of ripening. 1982, Kim et al.2012). Climacteric fruit can both retain the ethylene it produces and absorbs additional ethylene from its environment. 2014). It has been 12 years since publication of the last Journal of Experimental Botany Special Issue on Fruit Development and Ripening (Vol. In the model plant Arabidopsis, which has dry fruits, a high-level regulatory network of transcription factors controlling fruit development has been revealed. The bananas continue to ripen off the tree, growing softer and sweeter. These mechanisms also bring about changes in pigmentation due to loss of chlorophylls and a substantial increase in non-photosynthetic pigments, such as anthocyanins and carotenoids. Ethylene is a hydrocarbon that acts as an ageing hormone in plants. During fruit ripening, a global change of DNA methylation has been documented in all examined fruit species, although the direction of change (loss or gain) is not conserved among species. Environmental Aspects 231 B. Endogenous Controlling Systems 233 III. 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