Cold stress adversely affects plant production, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Banana (Musa acuminata) is sensitive to cold stress and suffers chilling injury (CI) when stored under 11 °C, causing abnormal fruit softening. However, the mechanism underlying the abnormal fruit softening due to CI remains obscure. This study uncovered the coordinated transcriptional mechanism of ethylene F-box (EBF1) protein and abscisic acid-insensitive 5 (ABI5)-like protein in regulating chilling-induced softening disorders of Fenjiao banana. Cold stress severely inhibited the transcript and protein levels of EBF1, ABI5-like, and fruit softening-related genes. The ABI5-like protein bound to the promoters of key starch and cell wall degradation-related genes such as β-amylase 8 (BAM8), pectate lyase 8 (PL8), and β-D-xylosidase23-like (XYL23-like) and activated their activities. EBF1 physically interacted with ABI5 -like and enhanced the transcriptional activity of the key starch and cell wall degradation-related genes but...

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