Red-mature Tabasco (Capsicum frutescens) fruit (`McIlhenny Select') normally separate easily at the junction of the fruit and receptacle or calyx. Differences in fruit detachment force (FDF) between two lines, one that separates readily (`McIlhenny Select') and one that does not (`Hard Pick'), have been reported previously (Motsenbocker et al., 1995). In this study, enzyme activity from the detachment area was analyzed by viscosity reduction. The reaction mixture was 0.3% pectin in 20 mm NaAc, pH 5.5, for polygalacturonase (PG) and 0.6% carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) in 20 mm NaPO4, pH 6.0, for cellulase. Preliminary data indicated that PG and cellulase enzyme activity increased during fruit ripening in both lines. Only cellulase activity, however, correlated with FDF. In addition, the activity of both enzymes was higher in the `McIlhenny Select' line than the `Hard Pick' line at the orange and red-mature stages.
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