A common practice for the irrigation management of muskmelon (Cucumis melo L. reticulatus group) is to restrict water supply to the plants from late fruit development and through the harvest period. However, this late fruit development period is critical for sugar accumulation and water stress at this stage is likely to limit the final fruit soluble solids concentration (SSC). Two field irrigation experiments were conducted to test the idea that maintaining muskmelon plants free of water stress through to the end of harvest will maximise sugar accumulation in the fruit. In both trials, water stress before or during harvest detrimentally affected fruit SSC and fresh weight (e.g., no stress fruit 11.2% SSC, weight 1180 g; stress fruit 8.8% SSC, weight 990 g). Maintaining plants free of water stress from flowering through to the end of harvest is recommended to maximise yield and fruit quality.
Robert L. Long, Kerry B. Walsh, David J. Midmore and Gordon Rogers
Lili Zhou and Robert E. Paull
Papaya (Carica papaya L.) fruit flesh and seed growth, fruit respiration, sugar accumulation, and the activities of sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS), sucrose synthase (SS), and acid invertase (AI) were determined from anthesis for ≈150 days after anthesis (DAA), the full ripe stage. Sugar began to accumulate in the fruit flesh between 100 and 140 DAA, after seed maturation had occurred. SPS activity remained low throughout fruit development. The activity of SS was high 14 DAA and decreased to less than one-fourth within 56 DAA, then remained constant during the remainder of fruit development. AI activity was low in young fruit and began to increase 90 DAA and reached a peak more than 10-fold higher, 125 DAA, as sugar accumulated in the flesh. Results suggest that SS and AI are two major enzymes that may determine papaya fruit sink strength in the early and late fruit development phases, respectively. AI activity paralleled sugar accumulation and may be involved in phloem sugar unloading.
Lili Zhou and Robert E. Paull
This study examined the relationship between the activity of fruit enzymes involved in metabolizing sucrose and sugar accumulation during fruit development, to clarify the role of these key enzymes in sugar accumulation in papaya fruit. Papaya fruit (Carica papaya L. cv. Sunset) were harvested from 14 to 140 days after anthesis (DAA). Fruit dry matter persent, total soluble solids (TSS), and sugar composition and the activity of enzymes: sucrose phosphate synthetase (SPS), sucrose synthetase (SS), and acid invertase were measured. `Sunset' papaya matured 140 days after anthesis during the Hawaii summer season and in about 180 days in cool season on the same plant. Fruit flesh dry matter persent, TSS, and total sugar did not significantly increase until 30 days before harvest. Sucrose synthetase was very high 2 weeks post-anthesis, then decreased to less than one-third in 42 to 56 DAA, then remained relatively low during the rest of fruit development. Seven to 14 days before fruit maturation, SS increased about 30% at the same time as sucrose accumulation in the fruit. Acid invertase activity was very low in the young fruit and increased more than 10-fold 42 to 14 days before maturation. SPS activity remained very low throughout the fruit development and was about 40% higher in mature-green fruit. The potential roles of invertase and sucrose synthetase in sugar accumulation will be discussed.
Han Ping Guan and Harry W. Janes
Light/dark effects on growth and sugar accumulation in tomato fruit were studied on intact plants (in vivo) and in tissue culture (in vitro). Similar patterns of growth and sugar accumulation were found in vivo and in vitro. Fruit growth in different sugar sources (glucose, fructose or sucrose) showed that sucrose was the primary carbon source translocated into tomato fruit. Darkening the fruit decreased growth about 40% in vivo and in vitro: Light-grown fruit took up 30% more sucrose from the same source and accumulated almost twice as much starch as that in dark-grown fruit. The difference in CO2 exchange rate between light and dark indicated that light effects on fruit growth were due to mechanisms other than photosynthesis. Supporting this conclusion was the fact that light intensities ranging from 40 to 160 μmol/m2/s had no influence on growth and light did not increase growth when fruits were grown on glucose or fructose. A possible expansion of an additional sink for carbon by fight stimulation of starch synthesis during early development will be discussed.
S.M. Silva, R.C. Herner and R.M. Beaudry
Asparagus (Asparagus officinallis L. `Giant Jersey') was stored a in flow-through system at 0°C under levels of O2 ranging from 0.1 to 21 kPa in combination with three levels of CO2 (0, 10 and 20 kPa) for 21 d. The resulting changes in RQ and soluble sugars were monitored. The levels of sucrose were higher at 0 kPa of CO2 and at O2 levels >2 kPa; however, those levels were extremely reduced at combinations of high CO2 and low O2. Glucose levels were higher at 0 kPa CO2 when O2 concentrations levels were >1.5 kPa compared to CO2 at 10 and 20 kPa. Fructose levels were maintained higher with CO2 at 20 kPa for all levels of O2, showing lower levels as CO2 decreased. Glycolytic intermediates were evaluated to support the sugar accumulation data. Phosphorylated intermediate levels were altered in spears by CO2 and O2 treatments. Glycolytic control point enzymes were analyzed and may account for sugar accumulation and/or degradation induced by the atmospheric treatments.
Gene Lester, Luis Saucedo Arias and Miguel Gomez-Lim
Muskmelon [Cucumis melo L. (Reticulatus Group)] fruit sugar content is the single most important consumer preference attribute. During fruit ripening, sucrose accumulates when soluble acid invertase (AI) activity is less then sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) activity. To genetically heighten fruit sugar content, knowledge of sugar accumulation during fruit development in conjunction with AI and SPS enzyme activities and their peptide immunodetection profiles is needed. Two netted muskmelon cultivars [`Valley Gold' (VG), a high sugar accumulator, and `North Star' (NS), a low sugar accumulator] with similar maturity indices were assayed for fruit sugars, AI, and SPS activity and immunodetection of AI and SPS polypeptides following 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 (abscission) days after anthesis (DAA). Both cultivars, grown in spring and fall, showed similar total sugar accumulation profiles. Total sugars increased 1.5 fold, from 2 through 5 DAA and then remained unchanged until 30 DAA. From 30 DAA until abscission, total sugar content increased, with VG accumulating significantly more sugar then NS. In both cultivars, during both seasons, sucrose was detected at 2 DAA, which coincided with higher SPS activity than AI activity. At 5 through 25 DAA, SPS activity was less then AI activity resulting in little or no sucrose detection. It was not until 30 DAA that SPS activity was greater than AI activity resulting in increased sucrose accumulation. VG at abscission had higher total sugar content and SPS activity and lower AI activity than NS. Total polypeptides from both cultivars 2 through 40 DAA, were immunodetected with antibodies: anti-AI and anti-SPS. NS had Al isoforms bands at 75, 52, 38, and 25 kDa that generally decreased wtih DAA. One isoform at 52 kDa remained detectable up to anthesis (40 DAA) VG had the same four Al isoforms, all decreased with DAA and became undetectable by 20 DAA. It is unclear if one or all AI isoforms correspond with detected enzyme activity. VG and NS had one SPS band at 58 kDa that increased with DAA and concomitantly with SPS activity. VG had a more intense SPS polypeptide band at abscission then did NS. Thus, netted muskmelon sugar accumulation may be increased by selecting for cultivars with a specific number of AI isoforms, which are down-regulated, and with high SPS activity during fruit ripening.
Gene E. Lester, Luis Saucedo Arias and Miguel Gomez-Lim
Muskmelon [Cucumis melo L. (Reticulatus Group)] fruit sugar content is the single most important consumer preference attribute. During fruit ripening, sucrose accumulates when soluble acid invertase (AI) activity is less then sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) activity. To genetically heighten fruit sugar content, knowledge of sugar accumulation during fruit development in conjunction with AI and SPS enzyme activities and their peptide immunodetection profiles, is needed. Two netted muskmelon cultivars, Valley Gold a high sugar accumulator, and North Star a low sugar accumulator, with identical maturity indices were assayed for fruit sugars, AI and SPS activity, and immunodetection of AI and SPS polypeptides 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, or 40 (abscission) days after anthesis (DAA). Both cultivars, grown in the Fall, 1998 and Spring, 1999, showed similar total sugar accumulation profiles. Total sugars increased 1.5 fold, from 2 through 5 DAA, then remained unchanged until 30 DAA. From 30 DAA until abscission, total sugar content increased, with `Valley Gold' accumulating significantly more than `North Star'. During both seasons, sucrose was detected at 2 DAA, which coincided with SPS activity higher than AI activity, at 5 through 25 DAA, no sucrose was detected which coincided with SPS activity less than AI activity. At 30 DAA when SPS activity was greater than AI activity, increased sucrose accumulation occurred. `Valley Gold' at abscission had higher total sugar content and SPS activity, and lower AI activity than `North Star'. `North Star' had AI isoforms at 75, 52, 38, and 25 kDa (ku) that generally decreased with maturation, although the isoform at 52 ku remained detectable up to anthesis (40 DAA). `Valley Gold' had the same four AI isoforms, all decreased with maturation and became undetectable by 20 DAA. Both `Valley Gold' and `North Star' had one SPS band at 58 ku that increased with DAA, and coincided with SPS activity. `Valley Gold' had a more intense SPS polypeptide band at abscission than `North Star'. Thus, netted muskmelon fruit sugar accumulation may be increased, either by genetic manipulation or by selecting for cultivars with a specific number of down-regulated AI isoforms, and higher SPS activity during fruit ripening.
Ricardo Campos and William B. Miller
The relationship between the activity of soluble acid invertase and metabolism of soluble carbohydrates was investigated in snapdragon flowers. Flowers were harvested at three different developmental stages, and at four different dates. Soluble carbohydrates were extracted and analyzed by HPLC; invertase activity was determined in crude enzyme extracts. Sucrose concentration slowly increased throughout flower development from a closed bud to a fully open flower. Fructose and glucose concentration were relatively lower at the bud stage, increased during petal elongation, then slightly decreased at flower maturity. Mannitol concentration showed little change during flower development. An unknown compound increased in concentration during petal elongation and decreased at maturity. For all harvest dates, the specific activity of acid invertase increased with flower development. These results show a positive correlation of invertase activity and hexose sugars accumulation. It is possible that at maturity sugars are metabolized at a faster rate than produced, causing a slight decline in hexose sugars.
Kwan Jeong Song, Ed Echeverria and Hyoung S. Lee
The distribution of sugars (sucrose, glucose, and fructose) and related enzymes between the stem and the blossom halves of `Valencia' oranges [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] was determined at three stages of fruit development. The blossom half contained significantly higher concentrations of sugars during later stages of development and maturation (12% and 20%, respectively). Neither the enzyme marker for sucrose synthesis [sucrose-phosphate synthase (SPS)] nor enzymes of CO2 fixation (NADP-malic enzyme, PEP carboxylase, and PEP carboxykinase) were significantly different between the halves. Sucrose synthase (SS), the enzymatic marker for sink strength, had significantly higher activity in the blossom half during later stages of fruit development when rapid sugar accumulation takes place. These data suggest that differential distribution of sugars between the stem and the blossom halves of citrus fruit is, in part, the result of differential sink strength.
Lili Zhou, Ching-Cheng Chen, Ray Ming, David A. Christopher and Robert E. Paull
An invertase gene was isolated and its mRNA activity and protein levels were determined during papaya (Carica papaya L.) fruit development. A complete invertase cDNA (AF420223) and a partial sucrose synthase cDNA (AF420224) were isolated from papaya fruit cDNA libraries. The invertase cDNA encoded a predicted polypeptide of 582 residues (MW 65,537 Da), and was 68% and 45% identical with carrot apoplastic and vacuolar invertases, respectively. Key amino acids indicative of an apoplastic invertase were conserved. A full-length gene corresponding to the putative apoplastic invertase cDNA was isolated and was organized into seven exons and six introns. Exon 2 (9 bp long) encoded part of a highly conserved region (NDPNG/A). Invertase mRNA and activity levels increased during fruit maturation and sugar accumulation just before ripening. In contrast, sucrose synthase mRNA levels were high during early fruit growth and low during the fruit sugar accumulation stage. A 73-kDa cell wall extractable protein that cross-reacted with carrot apoplastic invertase antisera substantially increased during papaya fruit maturation and declined in full ripe fruit. The increase in invertase protein levels occurred 2 to 4 weeks before maturity and was markedly higher than the overall increase in enzyme activity at this stage. Subsequently, the increase in enzyme activity was higher than the increase in protein levels between 2 weeks before maturity and fully ripe. The results suggested that mRNA level and invertase activity were related to maturity. The data suggested that the invertase was apoplastic, and that post-translational control of enzyme activity occurred, in which a significant accumulation of invertase occurred before the peak of enzymes activity.