Correlation of Increased Alternative Oxidase Gene Expression With Reduced Chilling Injury in Cold-stored Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum)

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  • 1 U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Produce Quality and Safety Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350
  • | 2 U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Produce Quality and Safety Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350
  • | 3 U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Produce Quality and Safety Laboratory
  • | 4 U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Produce Quality and Safety Laboratory
  • | 5 Univ. of Maryland, Biological Resources Engineering Dept.
  • | 6 Mt. Albert Research Center, HortResearch

Methyl salicylate (MeSA) and Methyl jasmonate (MeJA) treatments increased chilling resistance of light red tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum cv. Beefsteak) and extended shelf life and fresh-cut quality. We previously showed induction of AOX expression by low temperature and that induction of AOX transcript by MeSA and MeJA is correlated with resistance against chilling injury in peppers. Here, we investigate tomato, which is genetically closely related to peppers and belongs to the same Solanaceae family. In particular, we used four EST tomato clones of AOX from the public database that belong to two distinctly related families, 1 and 2 defined in plants. Three clones designated as LeAOX1a, 1b and 1c and the fourth clone as LeAOX2. Probes for these four genes were designed and Southern blotting done to confirm that they do not cross-hybridize. We will present data from Southern, Northern hybridization and RT-PCR to show: (1) gene copy number of each of these AOX members in the tomato genome; (2) gene-specific expression profiles in response to MeSA and MeJA in cold stored tomato; and (3) the relative transcript abundance of these four AOX genes.

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