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  • Author or Editor: Mosbah M. Kushad x
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Seasonal variation in polyamines were evaluate during growth of fruit and seed of peach (Prunus persica L. cvs. Loring and Biscoe) starting at fruit set. In both cultivars, putrescine and spermidine increase significantly while spermine increase only slightly during the early stages of development then declined at the later stages. During pit hardening, polyamines in the flesh remained unchanged but their level in the seed continued to decrease. In both cultivars, polyamine levels corresponded to changes in fruit and seed sizes. when polyamines were vacuum infiltrated into commercially mature Biscoe fruits, flesh firmness, ethylene biosynthesis, and flesh color were significantly different from untreated tissue. The relationship between polyamines, seed development, and fruit development and ripening will be examined.

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Polyamines and the activities of their biosynthetic enzymes were evaluated during peach (Prunus persica L. `Biscoe') mesocarp (pulp) and seed growth starting at full bloom and until full fruit maturity at 14 weeks after full bloom (AFB). Mesocarp fresh mass exhibited a double-sigmoidal pattern characteristic of peaches. Seed fresh mass increased to a maximum of≈1 g at 4 weeks AFB then remained unchanged during the remaining weeks of sampling. Free putrescine, spermidine, and spermine levels were significantly higher in the flower bud, declined in the mesocarp tissue during the first 2 weeks AFB, then exhibited another increase between 2 and 6 weeks AFB. In contrast, conjugated spermidine and spermine levels were low in flower buds, then increased to their maximum level at 6 weeks AFB, then declined at full fruit development. Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC, EC 4.1.1.17) activity was high in flower buds (89.3 nmol·h-1·mg-1 protein) and in early stages of mesocarp development then declined to its lowest level (5.8 nmol·h-1·mg-1 protein) at full-fruit development. Arginine decarboxylase (ADC, 4.1.1.19) activity did not change during the first 6 weeks of mesocarp growth but declined later, reaching its lowest (1.95 nmol·h-1·mg-1 protein) at 14 weeks AFB. During the first 5 weeks AFB, ODC activity was 3.0- to 4.5-fold that of ADC activity; however, at full-fruit maturity (14 weeks AFB) the activities of both enzymes were similar. The slowdown in mesocarp growth during pit hardening between 6 and 9 weeks AFB did not change polyamines concentrations or their biosynthetic enzymes. Free spermidine and spermine levels declined during seed development; however, between 7 and 9 weeks AFB an increase in putrescine was observed. Similarly, conjugated putrescine increased substantially during seed growth reaching its highest level of 680 nmol·g-1 fresh mass at week 8 then declined at the later weeks, while conjugated spermidine and spermine peaked at week 10 to 1,169 and 2,148 nmol·g-1 fresh mass. ODC and ADC activities declined between 3 and 5 weeks AFB. However, a significant increase in ADC but not ODC activity in the seed tissue was observed during pit hardening between 6 and 10 weeks AFB. Based on the rapid increase in putrescine and ADC activity in the seed tissue, it appears that pit hardening may be a stress-related phenomenon. Data also suggest that polyamine levels in the mesocarp and seed tissue are independently regulated.

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5'-methylthioadenosine (MTA) nucleosidase (EC.2.2.2.28) and 5-methylthioribose (MTR) kinase (EC.2.7.1.100) activities were evaluated in `rin', `nor', and `Rutgers' tomato fruit during development and ripening. Changes in the activities of these enzymes were compared to ethylene biosynthesis. MTA nucleosidase and MTR kinase activities in `rin' and `nor' were ≈30% and 22%, respectively, lower than `Rutgers' during the first 2 weeks of fruit development. In `Rutgers', activities of these enzymes declined sharply until fruit maturity. Shortly before climacteric rise in ethylene synthesis, MTA nucleosidase, and MTR kinase activities increased, reaching a maximum level before peak ethylene synthesis then declined when fruit started to approach senescence. Whereas, `rin' and `nor' mutants exhibited no climacteric rise in ethylene synthesis and no change in MTA nucleosidase or MTR kinase activities, following their decline after 2 weeks of growth. A rapid increase in ethylene synthesis was observed when mature green `rin' and `nor' fruit were wounded. This increase in ethylene was paralleled by an increase in MTA nucleosidase and MTR kinase activities. However, increase in wound ethylene, MTA nucleosidase, and MTR kinase activities in `rin' and `nor' was ≈40% less than what we had previously reported in `Rutgers'. Relationship of MTA and MTR kinase activities to fruit growth, development, ripening, and natural and wound ethylene biosynthesis will be described.

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`Atlantic', `BelRus', `Kennebec', and `Superior' potatoes (Solarium tuberosum L.) were evaluated for ascorbic acid, soluble protein, and sugar content (reducing and nonreducing) at harvest, after 6 weeks of storage at 3C, and after 2 weeks of reconditioning at 25C. At harvest, ascorbic acid and soluble protein contents varied among the cultivars, with `Superior' containing the highest ascorbic acid (154 mg/100 g dry weight) and soluble protein content (46.4 mg·g−1 dry weight). Cold storage resulted in a drastic reduction (±50%) in ascorbic acid content in all four cultivars. Ascorbic acid also decreased during reconditioning of tubers, but the reduction was less than during cold storage. In contrast, soluble protein contents were not influenced significantly by cold storage or reconditioning, except for `BelRus' and `Kennebec', which had less protein after reconditioning. At harvest, glucose, fructose, and sucrose contents were at similar levels in all cultivars, except for fructose in `Kennebec', which was more than 2-fold higher. `Kennebec' also had a significantly lower specific gravity than the other cultivars. However, unlike the other cultivars, reconditioning of `Kennebec' tubers did not affect its specific gravity or total sugar content. Data suggest that `Kennebec's' poor processing quality may have resulted from a combination of low specific gravity and high total sugar content.

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Superoxide dismutase (SOD: EC 1.1.15.1.1) and peroxidase (POD: EC 1.11.1.7) activities were evaluated during maturity, ripening, and senescence of `Red Spur Delicious' (Malus domestica Borkh.) apple fruits. SOD and POD activities did not exhibit uniform changes during fruit maturity; however, during fruit ripening, activities of both enzymes increased significantly. During fruit senescence, SOD activity continued to increase, while POD activity declined by 24% to 50%. Fruit maturity at harvest significantly affected SOD and POD activities during the progression of ripening and senescence. SOD activity was significantly higher during ripening and senescence of fruits that were harvested at full and over-mature stages than in fruits harvested at early mature stage. In contrast, POD activity was lower in fruits that were harvested at full and over-mature stages than in fruits harvested at early mature stage. Increase in SOD and POD activities during fruit ripening suggest that these enzymes are actively involved in scavenging free-radicals generated during this developmental stage. However, the decline in POD activity during fruit senescence suggest a possible disruption of the breakdown of H2O2 free-radicals. This disruption may have contributed to tissue senescence and the induction of a physiological disorder called senescence scald.

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Thirty horseradish (Armoracia rusticana Gaertn., Mey., & Scherb.) cultivars from eight countries in Europe and North America and from advanced lines developed at the Univ. of Illinois were evaluated for horseradish peroxidase (HRP; electrical conductivity 1.11.1.7, donor: hydrogen peroxide oxido-reductase) activity. Nearly 86% of the activity was present in the taproot and lateral roots and 14% in the leaf petiole, but there was no activity in the leaf blade. The 30 cultivars were divided into three groups with high (eight cultivars), medium (13 cultivars), and low (nine cultivars) activities [11.58 to 16.97, 7.19 to 9.79, and 2.88 to 6.91 μmol·min-1·g-1 fresh weight (FW), respectively]. The cultivars with the highest activity were 819-A from the Illinois and 810-A from Switzerland with 16.97 and 16.67 μmol·min-1·g-1 FW, respectively. The cultivar with the lowest HRP activity was 244-A from the United States with 2.88 μmol·min-1·g-1 FW. Cultivar 819-A also had the highest protein concentration (4.92 mg·g-1 FW). When HRP activity was expressed per milligrams of protein, cultivar 167-A, also known as `Bohemian', had the highest activity and cultivar 244-A had the lowest (5.35 and 0.83 μmol·min-1·mg-1 protein, respectively).

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Genome size has recently been reported to vary 16% in pumpkins (Cucurbita spp.). The majority of this variation can be attributed to genome size differences in pumpkins of various taxonomical classes. The purpose of this study was to determine if intraspecific genome size variability could be detected by flow cytometry in Cucurbita pepo subsp. pepo pumpkin cultivars with similar fruit morphology. The pie pumpkins group was chosen for this study because of their similar fruit size, shape, and color. Genome sizes ranged from 1.109 pg in Spooktacular to 1.064 pg in Small Sugar. Spooktacular had a genome size larger than Small Sugar in all three experiments. Therefore, intraspecific genome size variation does exist in C. pepo subsp. pepo among pumpkin cultivars of similar fruit morphology.

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Peroxidases are an enzyme family that displays a wide range of forms, functions, and distribution in the plant kingdom. Peroxidase extracted from horseradish is one of a few enzymes that had been widely used in industrial and clinical research. Horseradish peroxidase (HRP, EC 1.11.1.7, donor: hydrogen-peroxide oxidoreductase) has been used to estimate the levels of other enzymes, in immunoassay, bio-bleaching processes, and in lignin degradation for fuel production. Despite its extensive use, little is known about HRP distribution in horseradish plants. Four commercial horseradish cultivars (IL-647, IL-1069, IL-1573, and IL-1590) were evaluated for HRP activity in the main root, lateral roots, leaves, and leaf blades. HRP activity was highest in the main root followed by lateral roots. However, only a trace amount of HRP activity was detected in leaf blade and leaf petiole. IL-1573 has the highest HRP activity, while IL-647 has the lowest activity. Site of HRP synthesis and its distribution during horseradish plant growth and development will be described.

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Several stages of citrus (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck. cv. Valencia) flowers, from very small bud (stage 1) to anthesis (stage 6), were evaluated for free and conjugated polyamines. The concentration of putrescine and spermidine synthesis increased markedly during the early stages, and then declined as the flower buds grew. At anthesis, putrescine and spermidine concentrations had increased significantly. Spermine concentration was very low and showed no significant change during the first three floral developmental stages; however, by stages 5 and 6, spermine concentration showed a slight but significant increase. Eighty percent of the total polyamine content in fully developed flowers is localized in the reproductive organs and only 20% is localized in the petals and the calyx. This study relates changes in conjugated and free polyamines to citrus flower growth.

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Ten broccoli [Brassica oleracea L. (Botrytis Group)] accessions were grown in several environments to estimate glucosinolate (GS) variability associated with genotype, environment, and genotype × environment interaction and to identify differences in the stability of GSs in broccoli florets. Significant differences in genetic variability were identified for aliphatic GSs but not for indolyl GSs. The percentage of GS variability attributable to genotype for individual aliphatic compounds ranged from 54.2% for glucoraphanin to 71.0% for progoitrin. For total indolyl GSs, the percentage of variability attributable to genotype was only 12%. Both qualitative and quantitative differences in GSs were detected among the genotypes. Ten-fold differences in progoitrin, glucoraphanin, and total aliphatic GS levels were observed between the highest and lowest genotypes. Only two lines, Eu8-1 and VI-158, produced aliphatic GSs other than glucoraphanin in appreciable amounts. Differences in stability of these compounds among the cultivars were also observed between fall and spring plantings. Results suggest that genetic factors necessary for altering the qualitative and quantitative aliphatic GS profiles are present within existing broccoli germplasm, which makes breeding for enhanced cancer chemoprotectant activity feasible.

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