Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) unexpectedly contributed to the yellowing alleviation of ready-to-eat broccoli. Herein, we employed phenotypic and transcriptomic analyses for the first time to investigate the molecular mechanism of yellowing alleviation in the presence of ClO2. In our study, ClO2 and chloroxyanions were mainly distributed in floret bud and the content of ClO2 residue in the bud was over 50 % higher than that in stem and pedicel. Besides, the correlation analysis represented the yellowing process correlated strongly with the ClO3- residue in ready-to-eat broccoli. Further transcriptomic analyses and genes expression validation demonstrated that the endogenous ethylene biosynthesis in broccoli was noticeably inhibited by intrusive ClO2 and chloroxyanions. Ethylene biosynthesis was supposed to associate with chlorophyll degradation via the expression of ethylene-responsive transcription factor (ERF) in broccoli senescence based on transcriptomic data. This study not only carries out the novel and systematical investigation of ClO2 distribution, but also provides the deeper understanding of the quality maintenance of ready-to-eat produce.