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F.M. Woods, D.G. Himelrick, R. Aynaou, G.E. Boyhan and T.M. Brasher

Changes in the activities of sucrose-metabolizing enzymes as related to ontogeny and ripening were studied in fruit mesocarp tissues of watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai, cvs. A.U. Producer and Sweet Scarlet]. The levels of soluble sugars and the activities of sucrose synthase (SS; EC 2.4.1.13), sucrose-phosphate synthase (SPS; EC 2.4.1.14), and invertase (INV; EC 3.2.1.26) were measured. The temporal pattern of these enzymes relative to the levels of soluble sugars were similar for both cultivars. `Sweet Scarlet' was characterized by having higher INV and SPS activities, while SS activities tended to be similar in both cultivars during fruit development. During later stages of ripening, `Sweet Scarlet' tended toaccumulate reducing sugars, while `AU Producer' tended to accumulate sucrose and therefore had lower sucrose-cleaving enzyme activity. Results indicate that SPS and INV appear to play a prominent role in carbohydrate metabolism in developing and ripening tissues of watermelon.

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R. Aynaou, F.M. Woods, R. Shewfelt, J.E. Brown, S. Tuzun, J.H. Cherry and L.G. Sanders

The ability of two tomato cultivars, Lycopersicon esculentum cv. VFNTCherry (chill sensitive) and L. esculentum × L. pimpinellifollim cv. New York 280 (chill tolerant) to acclimate to low temperature storage at 2 °C were compared following prior temperature preconditioning. The activities of catalase, peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase and electrolyte leakage were monitored during a 15-day preconditioning period. Low temperature preconditioning reduced membrane damage in both fruit. In contrast, high temperature preconditioning accelerated the rate of leakage in VFNT, while fruit of NY 280 remained relatively undamaged. Low temperature preconditioning stimulated a 4-fold increase in catalase and peroxidase activities in fruit of NY280. High-temperature preconditioning appeared only to benefit fruit of NY280. Regardless of pretreatment, no significant change in superoxide dismutase activities were observed for either cultivar. These findings suggest that the ability to acclimate to low temperature stress may correlate with increased levels of catalase and peroxidase.