The relationships between the size and the number of cells and sugar accumulation in melon fruit have been examined. Maleic hydrazide (MH) was used to investigate the relationships. Although cell size was markedly larger in MH-treated fruit than in untreated fruit in the early stages of fruit development, the number of cells in MH-treated fruit was less than in untreated fruit in latter fruit development. Sucrose, glucose, and fructose content were higher in MH-treated fruit than in untreated fruit. It is therefore suggested that sucrose accumulation in fruit subjected to MH treatment is accelerated as a result of early cell enlargement and that sucrose content increases further as a result of the decrease in the number of cells in the fruit during late development.
To investigate the relationship between cell size and sugar accumulation, fruit of the melon was heated during the early stage of the growing period. The minimum air temperature in the heating apparatus was ≈10 °C higher than the ambient air temperature, and the weight of the heated fruit was greater than that of the control fruit. The number of rectangular parallelepiped (7-mm-long sample serially collected beginning at one end of the 10-mm-wide strip removed from the 10-mm-thick disk at the maximum transverse diameter of the fruit to the opposite end) with cells larger than 200 μm in the heated fruit at 17 days after anthesis (DAA, the end of heating treatment) was much larger that of the control fruit. The mean cell size in the heated fruit at 17 DAA was larger than that of the control fruit. Mean sucrose content of the heated fruit on 40 DAA was larger than the level in the control fruit. Higher fruit temperatures in melons covered with heating apparatus results in the predominance of larger cells and increased accumulation of sucrose in the fruit.
To investigate the effects of night temperature on sugar accumulation in watermelon fruit, fruits were treated with higher nighttime temperature under a greenhouse. The minimum nighttime ambient temperature of the heating box (18 °C) was ≈6 °C higher than that of the control. The heat-treated fruit weighed at the end of heating treatment, 16 days after anthesis (DAA), was greater than that of control, but fruit weight at harvesting, 42 DAA, was almost the same in both treatments. Cells of all portions of the heat-treated fruit at 16 DAA were much larger than those of the control, and cells in the outermost rectangular parallelepipeds (RPs; 15-mm long samples that were serially collected from a 10-mm thick disk along a 10-mm wide strip removed at the maximum transverse diameter of the fruit) of the heat-treated fruit were 80 μm or more larger than those of the control. At 16 DAA, the number of RPs with sucrose contents of 2 g·L−1 or more were six and nine in control and heat-treated fruit, respectively. At 42 DAA, content in the outer RPs of the heat-treated fruit was greater than that in the outer RPs of the control. The number of RPs with sucrose contents of 40 g·L−1 or more was five in the control and 11 in heat-treated fruit. Mean sucrose, glucose, and fructose in fruit at 16 DAA did not differ in the treated fruit from the control. However, the sucrose content of heat-treated fruit was 32% higher than that of the control at 42 DAA. Glucose and fructose content were lower in heat-treated fruit than in the control.
Head and leaf weight of cabbage plants grown using half the nitrogen fertilizer applied to control plants (hereafter referred to as the half treatment) were markedly less than those obtained for control plants to which the standard amount of nitrogen fertilizer was applied. Sugar content 33 d after sowing (DAS) did not differ between treatments, but glucose and fructose content in the half treatment 82 DAS was higher than that of the control. Although the number of cell layers in cross-section for the leaves from both treatments was ≈20, cells from the half treatment appeared smaller than those of the control. Therefore, it is suggested that the higher sugar content in leaves of cabbage plants grown on media containing less nitrogen fertilizer occurs in response to the smaller cells in the leaves.
To determine the relationship among cell size, acid invertase (AI) activity, sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) activity, and sucrose accumulation in melon (Cucumis melo L.) during early development [from 6 to 16 days after anthesis (DAA)], fruit were heated at night to a minimum of 20 °C. Cells of heated fruit were larger than those of control fruit at 16 DAA but smaller at 50 DAA. AI activity was lower and SPS activity was higher in heated than in control fruit up to 26 DAA. Sucrose, glucose, and fructose contents at 26 and 50 DAA were higher in heated than in control fruit. Heating caused cells to reach mature size earlier than those of control fruit, and maturity was accompanied by earlier decline in AI activity and an earlier increase in SPS activity that promoted soluble sugar accumulation.