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Plant Physiol. Mar 1997; 113(3): 739–746.
PMCID: PMC158191

Sucrose-to-Starch Metabolism in Tomato Fruit Undergoing Transient Starch Accumulation.


Immature green tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) fruits undergo a period of transient starch accumulation characterized by developmental changes in the activities of key enzymes in the sucrose (Suc)-to-starch metabolic pathway. Activities of Suc synthase, fructokinase, ADP-glucose (Glc) pyrophosphorylase, and soluble and insoluble starch synthases decline dramatically in parallel to the decrease in starch levels in the developing fruit. Comparison of "maximal" in vitro activities of the enzymes in the Suc-to-starch pathway suggests that these same enzymes are limiting to the rate of starch accumulation. In contrast, activities of invertase, UDP-Glc pyrophosphorylase, nucleoside diphosphate kinase, phosphoglucoisomerase, and phosphoglucomutase do not exhibit dramatic decreases in activity and appear to be in excess of starch accumulation rates. Starch accumulation is spatially localized in the inner and radial pericarp and columella, whereas the outer pericarp and seed locule contain little starch. The seed locule is characterized by lower activities of Suc synthase, UDP-Glc pyrophosphorylase, phosphoglucomutase, ADP-Glc pyrophosphorylase, and soluble and insoluble starch synthases. The outer pericarp exhibits comparatively lower activities of ADP-Glc pyrophosphorylase and insoluble starch synthase only. These data are discussed in terms of the developmental and tissue-specific coordinated control of Suc-to-starch metabolism.

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Selected References

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