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Plant Physiol. 1991 Apr;95(4):1026-35.

Sink Metabolism in Tomato Fruit : IV. Genetic and Biochemical Analysis of Sucrose Accumulation.

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  • 1Department of Vegetable Crops, Mann Laboratory, University of California, Davis, Colifornia 95616.


Fruit of domesticated tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) accumulate primarily glucose and fructose, whereas some wild tomato species, including Lycopersicon chmielewskii, accumulate sucrose. Genetic analysis of progeny resulting from a cross between L. chmielewskii and L. esculentum indicated that the sucrose-accumulating trait could be stably transferred and that the trait was controlled by the action of one or two recessive genes. Biochemical analysis of progeny resulting from this cross indicated that the sucrose-accumulating trait was associated with greatly reduced levels of acid invertase, but normal levels of sucrose synthase. Invertase from hexose-accumulating fruit was purified and could be resolved into three isoforms by chromatofocusing, each with isoelectric points between 5.1 and 5.5. The invertase isoforms showed identical polypeptide profiles on sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, consisting of a primary 52 kilodalton polypeptide and two lower molecular mass polypeptides that appear to be degradation products of the 52 kilodalton polypeptide. The three invertase isoforms were indistinguishable based on pH, temperature, and substrate concentration dependence. Immunological detection of invertase indicated that the low level of invertase in sucrose-accumulating fruit was due to low levels of invertase protein rather than the presence of an invertase inhibitor. Based on comparison of genetic and biochemical data we speculate that a gene either encoding tomato fruit acid invertase or one required for its expression, plays an important role in determining sucrose accumulation.

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