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Cell Wall Metabolism in Ripening Fruit: VI. Effect of the Antisense Polygalacturonase Gene on Cell Wall Changes Accompanying Ripening in Transgenic Tomatoes

C. M. Sean Carrington, L. Carl Greve and John M. Labavitch
Plant Physiology
Vol. 103, No. 2 (Oct., 1993), pp. 429-434
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4275412
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Cell Wall Metabolism in Ripening Fruit: VI. Effect of the Antisense Polygalacturonase Gene on Cell Wall Changes Accompanying Ripening in Transgenic Tomatoes
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Abstract

Cell walls of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) fruit, prepared so as to minimize residual hydrolytic activity and autolysis, exhibit increasing solubilization of pectins as ripening proceeds, and this process is not evident in fruit from transgenic plants with the antisense gene for polygalacturonase (PG). A comparison of activities of a number of possible cell wall hydrolases indicated that antisense fruit differ from control fruit specifically in their low PG activity. The composition of cell wall fractions of mature green fruit from transgenic and control (wild-type) plants were indistinguishable except for trans-1,2-diaminocyclohexane-N,N,N′,N′-tetraacetic acid (CDTA)-soluble pectins of transgenic fruit, which had elevated levels of arabinose and galactose. Neutral polysaccharides and polyuronides increased in the water-soluble fraction of wild-type fruit during ripening, and this was matched by a decline in Na2CO3-soluble pectins, equal in magnitude and timing. This, together with compositional analysis showing increasing galactose, arabinose, and rhamnose in the water-soluble fraction, mirrored by a decline of these same residues in the Na2CO3-soluble pectins, suggests that the polyuronides and neutral polysaccharides solubilized by PG come from the Na2CO3-soluble fraction of the tomato cell wall. In addition to the loss of galactose from the cell wall as a result of PG activity, both antisense and control fruit exhibit an independent decline in galactose in both the CDTA-soluble and Na2CO3-soluble fractions, which may play a role in fruit softening.

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