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  • Author or Editor: Eunice Melotto x
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Acid hydrolysis-generated pectic oligomers have been shown to affect ripening of tomato fruit by inducing both acceleration of reddening and increased ethylene biosynthesis (Campbell & Labavitch, 1991 Plant Physiol 97:706-713). In the present work, homogeneous size classes of these oligomers were demonstrated to have different impacts on ethylene production of tomato fruit pericarp discs. Endogenous oligomeric material of the same size classes was isolated from ripening tomato tissues and also tested for biological activity. They promoted some aspects of ripening as shown by increased ACC and ethylene production, which suggests that pectic oligomers are potential regulators of the ripening process in tomatoes. A metabolic origin for these oligomers is suggested by the fact that they are produced by in vitro polygalacturonase I treatment of polygalacturonic acid or tomato pectin.

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