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Plant Physiol. 1993 Aug;102(4):1337-40.

Isolation and characterization of a cDNA clone for a harvest-induced asparagine synthetase from Asparagus officinalis L.

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New Zealand Institute for Crop & Food Research Limited, Levin Research Centre.


A full-length cDNA clone (pTIP27) encoding asparagine synthetase (AS; EC was isolated from a cDNA library prepared from the tip section (apex to 30 mm) of Asparagus officinalis L. spears. The cDNA clone encodes an mRNA of 1978 bp, giving a derived protein of 66.5 kD molecular mass. The derived amino acid sequence is 81% homologous to AS from Pisum sativum. Only low levels of transcript for AS could be detected in growing spears, roots, or ferns. However, AS mRNA levels began to increase in the tips of harvested spears after 2 h at 20 degrees C, and in the other sections of the spear after 4 h, suggesting that all sections of the spear were responding to the same postharvest signal. The results are discussed in relation to metabolic changes occurring in harvested spears.

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