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Plant Mol Biol. 1997 Jan;33(2):313-22.

Characterization of two cDNA clones for mRNAs expressed during ripening of melon (Cucumis melo L.) fruits.

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Department of Physiology and Environmental Science, The University of Nottingham, Loughborough, UK.


In vitro translation of mRNAs and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of proteins from melons revealed that several mRNAs increased in amount during ripening, indicating the existence of other ripening genes in addition to those cloned previously. To identify ripening-related genes we have screened a ripe melon cDNA library and isolated two novel cDNA clones (MEL2 and MEL7) encoding unidentified proteins. Southern analysis revealed that MEL2 and MEL7 are encoded by low-copy-number genes. The MEL2 cDNA clone is near full-length, corresponds to a 1600 nucleotide mRNA that accumulates during ripening and encodes a predicted protein rich in hydrophobic amino acids. The MEL7 cDNA clone is full-length, corresponds to a mRNA of 0.7 kb which accumulates during early ripening stages and is also present at low levels in other organs of the melon plant. The MEL7 predicted polypeptide is 17 kDa and shows significant homology with the major latex protein from opium-poppy. Wounding and ethylene treatment of unripe melon fruits 20 days after anthesis showed that MEL2 and MEL7 mRNAs are only induced by ethylene.

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