CAMPERI Silvia Andrea
Galactosidases in tomato fruit ontogeny: decreased galactosidase activities in antisense ACC synthase fruit during ripening and reversal with exogenous ethylene
GABRIEL O. SOZZI; SILVIA A. CAMPERI; OSVALDO CASCONE; ADELA A. FRASCHINA
AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PLANT PHYSIOLOGY
Año: 1998 vol. 25 p. 237 - 237
a- and b-galactosidase (a- and b-Gal) activities, firmness and pigment content were analysed in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) pericarp during fruit growth and ripening, comparing normal fruit with transgenic fruit containing an ACC-synthase antisense transgene. Normal and transgenic immature green fruit had similar temporal patterns of total a- and b-Gal activity. Immature 21-day-old fruit displayed 93% and 134% higher a- and b-Gal activity on a per gram fresh weight basis, respectively, than mature-green fruit. During ripening, normal fruit presented increasing levels of a- and b-Gal activity towards the red-ripe stage. b-Gal II was detected in mature-green tomatoes; it rose rapidly and reached maximum values at the red-ripe stage. In contrast, a- and b-Gal activity in antisense fruit decreased after reaching the breaker stage, and a low continuous level of activity was apparent between 54 and 108 days after anthesis. 48- to 108-day-old transgenic fruit showed constant basal levels of b-Gal II. There were no significant differences in enzyme activity between antisense attached and detached fruit. An exogenous ethylene treatment performed in transgenic tomatoes brought about a promotive effect on total a- and b-Gal activity in general and on b-Gal II in particular, thus suggesting a role for ethylene in de novo synthesis or activation of these enzymes. Softening, chlorophyll breakdown and lycopene biosynthesis were impaired in the antisense fruits, but the impairment was only complete for lycopene synthesis and all were reversed by applied ethylene. These results can be associated with the signal transduction pathways proposed to be operational during tomato ripening.