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Plant Physiol. 1996 Feb;110(2):555-559.

An Endo-[beta]-Mannanase Develops Exclusively in the Micropylar Endosperm of Tomato Seeds Prior to Radicle Emergence.

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Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Fuchu, Tokyo 183, Japan.


A galactomannan-hydrolyzing enzyme that develops pregerminatively in the micropylar region of the endosperm of the tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum [L.] Mill.) seed was characterized. The enzyme was endo-[beta]-mannanase (EC, since it hydrolyzed galactomannan into oligosaccharides with no release of galactose and mannose. The mobility of this pregerminative enzyme in sodium dodecyl sulfate and native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was not identical to that of any of the three endo-[beta]-mannanases that develop in the same tissue (endosperm) after germination (H. Nonogaki, M. Nomaguchi, Y. Morohashi [1995] Physiol Plant 94: 328-334). There were also some differences in the products of galactomannan hydrolysis between the pregerminative and the postgerminative enzymes, indicating that the action pattern is different between the two types of enzymes. The pregerminative enzyme began to develop in the micropylar region of the endosperm at about 18 h postimbibition and increased up to the time immediately before radicle protrusion (24 h postimbibition). This enzyme was not present in the lateral part of the endosperm at any stage before or after germination. It is proposed that the enzyme develops prior to germination specifically at the micropylar region of the endosperm.

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