Sorbitol plays a important role in the translocation of photosynthate in apple. Sorbitol-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (S6PDH, is the key enzyme regulating sorbitol biosynthesis. The cloning of functional gene like S6PDH provides the potential to elucidate the mechanism of production and translocation of sugar in the Rosaceae family and to manipulate endogenous sorbitol production in horticultural crops.
Poly(A)+RNA was prepared from apple seedlings and cDNA library constructed in an expression vector was screened by the loquat-S6PDH antibody prepared by Hirai (Natl. Res. Inst. Veg. Ornam. Plants & Tea, Japan). The cloned cDNA contained an open reading frame of 930 base pairs encoding a sequence of 310 amino acids. Identification of the cDNA was accomplished by expression of active enzyme in Escherichia coli harboring the cDNA and by the presence of a partial amino acid sequence identical to that found in the purified enzyme. Northern blot analysis showed the expression of S6PDH gene in apple seedlings.