J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1990, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (5): -.

• Research Articles •    

The Role of Polygalacturonase (PG) in Tomato Fruit Ripening and Effects of Divalent Metal Ions and Ethylene on PG Activity

Lu Chun-bin, Liu Gun-de, Shen Quan-guang and Liang Hou-guo   

Abstract: It has been reported that PG is a key enzyme related to the tomato fruit ripening. In this study tomato fruits were harvested at the mature-green stage and stored at room temperature. The cell ultrastructure of pericarp tissue was observed at different ripening stages, and the effects of treatments with ethylene and calcium on PG activity and fruit ripening were examined. The object of this study is to elucidate the role of PG in regulation of tomato fruit ripening by ethylene and calcium. PG activity, was undetectable at mature-green stage, but it rose rapidly as fruif ripening. The rise in PG activity was coincided with the dechnmg of fruit firmness during ripening of tomato fruits. The observation of cell ultrastructure showed that the most of grana in chloroplast were lost and the mitochondrial cristae decreased as fruit ripening. Striking changes of cell wall structure was most noted, beginning with dissolution of the middle lamella and eventual disruption of primary cell wall. A similar pattern of changes of cell wall and chloroplast have been observed in pericarp tissue treated with PG extract. In fruits treated with calcium and other divalent metal ions atmature-green stage, the lycopene content and PG activity decreased dramatically. Ethylene application enhanced the formation of lycopene and PG activity. The inhibition of Ca2+ on PG ac ivity was removed by ethylene. Based on the above results, it was demonstrated that PG played a major role in ripening of tomato fruits, and suggested that the regulation of fruit ripening by ethylene and Ca2+ was all mediated by PG. PG induced the hydrolysis of cell wall and released the other hydrolytic enzymes, then effected the ripening processes follow up.

Key words: Tomato fruit, Ripening, Polygalacturonase, Divalent metal ions, Ethylene

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