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Plant Physiol Biochem. 2006 Nov-Dec;44(11-12):806-18. Epub 2006 Nov 7.

Developmental changes in antioxidant metabolites, enzymes, and pigments in fruit exocarp of four tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) genotypes: beta-carotene, high pigment-1, ripening inhibitor, and 'Rutgers'.

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Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6414, USA.


In surface cell layers of fleshy fruit, antioxidants must limit photooxidative reactions that generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) in high light. Our objective was to measure changes in the concentrations of antioxidant metabolites and pigments, and the activities of enzymes of the Mehler-peroxidase, ascorbate-glutathione cycle in fruit exocarp tissue under non-stress conditions of the following fruit-specific tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.=Solanum lycopersicum) mutants and their parent: (1) beta-carotene (B), (2) high pigment (hp-1), (3) ripening inhibitor (rin), and (4) the nearly isogenic wild-type 'Rutgers'. Developmental variables included days after anthesis (DAA) and fruit surface color. The highest total ascorbic acid (AsA) concentration was in the exocarp of immature green fruit of hp-1, being 32% higher than 'Rutgers'. The hp-1 mutant also had the highest chlorophyll and total carotenoid concentrations, comprised mostly of lycopene in red ripe fruit; whereas, beta-carotene comprised 90% of the carotenoids in B. Although enzyme activities varied within genotype, they generally increased with development, then decreased as fruit maturity was reached, being coupled with AsA and glutathione (GSH) concentrations. In all mutants, dark-green (DG) exocarp had more chlorophyll and protein, higher concentrations of reduced AsA and GSH, and usually lower enzyme activities than light-green (LG) exocarp taken from the same fruit.

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