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Plant Physiol. 1997 Sep;115(1):273-82.

Regulation and tissue-specific distribution of mRNAs for three extracellular invertase isoenzymes of tomato suggests an important function in establishing and maintaining sink metabolism.

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  • 1Lehrstuhl für Zellbiologic und Pflanzenphysiologie, Universität Regensburg, Germany.


The aim of the present study was to gain insight into the contribution of extracellular invertases for sink metabolism in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.). The present study shows that extracellular invertase isoenzymes are encoded by a gene family comprising four members: Lin5, Lin6, Lin7, and Lin8. The regulation of mRNA levels by internal and external signals and the distribution in sink and source tissues has been determined and compared with mRNA levels of the intracellular sucrose (Suc)-cleaving enzymes Suc synthase and vacuolar invertase. The specific regulation of Lin5, Lin6, and Lin7 suggests an important function of apoplastic cleavage of Suc by cell wall-bound invertase in establishing and maintaining sink metabolism. Lin6 is expressed under conditions that require a high carbohydrate supply. The corresponding mRNA shows a sink tissue-specific distribution and the concentration is elevated by stress-related stimuli, by the growth-promoting phytohormone zeatin, and in response to the induction of heterotrophic metabolism. The expression of Lin5 and Lin7 in gynoecia and stamens, respectively, suggests an important function in supplying carbohydrates to these flower organs, whereas the Lin7 mRNA was found to be present exclusively in this specific sink organ.

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