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Dominique-André Demers, André Gosselin and H. Chris Wien

Sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) plants were grown under natural or supplemental lighting that extended thephotoperiods to 16, 20, or 24 hours. Increasing the photoperiod to 16 and 20 hours increased pepper plant yields, but continuous light (24 hours) decreased yields compared to the 20-hour photoperiod. In a second experiment, plants were exposed to a photoperiod of 14 or 24 hoursand either pruned to one fruit every four nodes or not pruned. During the first weeks of treatments, plants grown under continuous light had higher shoot mass (fresh and dry) and yields. After 7 to 8 weeks of treatments, plants under continuous light grew more slowly than plants exposed to a 14-hour photoperiod. At the end of the experiment, shoot mass and yields of plants grown under a 14-hour photoperiod were equal to or higher than plants under continuous light. So, it seems possible to provide continuous lighting for a few weeksto improve growth and yields. Limiting the number of fruit per plant increased shoot mass and decreased yields, but had no effect on the general response of pepper plants to photoperiod treatment. Leaf mineral composition was not affected by photoperiod treatment, indicating that reduced growth and yields under continuous light were not due to unbalanced mineral nutrition. Leaf starch and sugar contents were increased under continuous light. However, fruit pruning treatments did not modify the pattern of starch and sugar accumulation under the different photoperiod treatments. Reduced growth and yields measured under a 24-hour photoperiod are probably explained by starch and sugar accumulation in leaves as a result of leaf limitations rather than a sink limitation.

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Y. Hayata, Y. Niimi, K. Inoue and S. Kondo

Solutions of CPPU and BA were applied to ovaries of melon (Cucumis melo) flowers with or without pollination, and the effects on fruit set, growth, and sugar content were investigated. Treatment with CPPU increased fruit set in both seeded and seedless melons. Even at low concentrations, CPPU had a strong effect on fruit set in the seeded melons. In seedless melons, CPPU induced 100% parthenocarpic fruit set when applied with 10 mg·L–1; lower concentrations were much less effective. Treatment with BA increased fruit set in seeded melons, but was not particularly effective in the absence of pollination. During the first 10 days after anthesis, CPPU promoted fruit growth, but between 8 and 13 days after anthesis, the growth rate was lower than in the controls. Treatment with CPPU had little effect upon soluble solids (SS) levels in seeded fruit. SS content was significantly lower in seedless than in seeded fruit; this difference was larger in the placenta than in the mesocarp. Sucrose levels of both seeded and seedless fruits were consistently higher than glucose and fructose levels. High concentrations of CPPU reduced sucrose levels in the placenta of seedless fruit. These results indicate that seeds play an important role in sugar accumulation and melon fruit growth during later stages of development. Chemical names used: [1-(2-chloro-4-pyridyl)-3-phenylurea] (CPPU); 6-benzylaminopurine (BA).

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Natalie L. Hubbard, D. Mason Pharr and Steven C. Huber

Muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) fruit lack a stored starch reserve and therefore depend on translocated photoassimilate from the leaf canopy for sugar accumulation during ripening. The influence of canopy photosynthesis on sucrose' accumulation within muskmelon fruit mesocarp was examined. Canopy photosynthetic activities were estimated in a sweet and a nonsweet genotype. Photosynthetic rate of the nonsweet genotype, on a per-plant basis, was only 56% of that of the sweet genotype. The effect of limiting leaf area of the sweet genotype on carbohydrate concentrations and sucrose metabolizing enzymes within the fruit was evaluated. A 50% reduction of leaf area 8 days before initiation of fruit sucrose accumulation resulted in canopy photosynthesis similar to that of the nonsweet genotype. Reduced photosynthetic activity resulted in slightly lower soluble-carbohydrate concentration in the fruit; however, fruit sucrose concentration was three times higher than that reported previously for the nonsweet genotype. The extent to which `fruit sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) activity increased during maturation was diminished by leaf removal. Acid invertase activity declined in all fruit in a similar manner irrespective of defoliation. A reduction of leaf area of a sweet genotype reduced sucrose accumulation within the fruit. Lower fruit sucrose concentration was associated with lower concentration of raffinose saccharides and lower SPS activity within the fruit. Additionally, insufficient assimilate supply was judged not to be the factor responsible for low sucrose accumulation in a nonsweet genotype.

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Yosef Burger, Uzi Sa'ar, Asaph Distelfeld, Nurit Katzir, Yelena Yeselson, Shmuel Shen and Arthur A. Schaffer

The sweet cultivars of Cucumis melo are characterized by high sucrose levels, together with low acid levels in the mature fruit flesh. The trait of high sugar accumulation in C. melo fruit is determined by a single recessive gene, suc. High acid content, conferred by a single dominant gene, So, is found only in C. melo varieties that do not accumulate high levels of sugar and are used for nondessert purposes. We combined the genetic traits of high acid content (low pH) and high sugar levels by crossing the nonsweet, high acid C. melo var. flexuosus, `Faqqous' (So/So, Suc/Suc), with high sugar, low acid C. melo genotypes (so/so, suc/suc) and generating the recombinant genotype So/—, suc/suc. Segregating F2 populations derived from the cross between `Faqqous' and a standard high sugar, low acid line showed that the traits of high sugar and low pH were inherited independently of each other. The accumulation of acid and sugar in the developing fruit of a recombinant high acid, high sugar breeding line, A6, were also temporally independent, with acid accumulation preceding the rise in sucrose levels. The low pH of A6 was correlated with the developmental increase in titratable acidity and particularly of citric acid levels. The combination of increased acidity and high sugar provides the melons with a unique taste due to a sugar to acid ratio not present in sweet C. melo cultivars. These results are discussed in terms of the evolution under domestication of C. melo.

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Ching-Cheng Chen and Robert E. Paull

Sugar accumulation and the activities of sugar metabolizing enzymes were related to the occurrence of pineapple [Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.] flesh translucency. During early fruit development, glucose and fructose were the predominant sugars. Sucrose began to accumulate 6 weeks before harvest at a higher rate in the fruitlet than in the interfruitlet tissue. Electrolyte leakage from pineapple flesh increased rapidly from 6 weeks before harvest and paralleled sucrose accumulation. Sucrose synthase activity was high in young fruit flesh and declined with fruit development, while the activity of sucrose phosphate synthase was relatively low and constant throughout fruit development. The activities of acid invertase, neutral invertase, and cell-wall invertase (CWI) were high in the young fruit flesh and declined to very low levels 6 weeks before harvest when sucrose started to accumulate. CWI activity increased again, more in the fruitlet than in the interfruitlet tissue, 4 weeks before harvest. Removal of 1/3 of the plant leaves 3 weeks before harvest significantly reduced fruit flesh total soluble solids, CWI activity, and translucency incidence at harvest. The activity of CWI in translucent fruit flesh was significantly higher than in opaque fruit flesh at harvest. CWI activities in the basal section of pineapple flesh and in the fruitlet, where translucency first occurred, were higher than those in the apical section and in the interfruitlet tissue, respectively. Results support the hypothesis that high CWI activity in pineapple flesh at the later stage of fruit development enhances sucrose unloading into the fruit flesh apoplast, leading to increased apoplastic solute concentration (decreased solute potential) and subsequent water movement into the apoplast. This, in turn, may reduce porosity and lead to increased fruit flesh translucency.

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Li-Song Chen and Lailiang Cheng

One-year-old grapevines (Vitis labrusca L. `Concord') were supplied twice weekly for 5 weeks with 0, 5, 10, 15, or 20 mm nitrogen (N) in a modified Hoagland's solution to generate a wide range of leaf N status. Both light-saturated CO2 assimilation at ambient CO2 and at saturating CO2 increased curvilinearly as leaf N increased. Although stomatal conductance showed a similar response to leaf N as CO2 assimilation, calculated intercellular CO2 concentrations decreased. On a leaf area basis, activities of key enzymes in the Calvin cycle, ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco), NADP-glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), phosphoribulokinase (PRK), and key enzymes in sucrose and starch synthesis, fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase), sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS), and ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPase), increased linearly with increasing leaf N content. When expressed on a leaf N basis, activities of the Calvin cycle enzymes increased with increasing leaf N, whereas activities of FBPase, SPS, and AGPase did not show significant change. As leaf N increased, concentrations of glucose-6-phosphate (G6P), fructose-6-phosphate (F6P), and 3-phosphoglycerate (PGA) increased curvilinearly. The ratio of G6P/F6P remained unchanged over the leaf N range except for a significant drop at the lowest leaf N. Concentrations of glucose, fructose, and sucrose at dusk increased linearly with increasing leaf N, and there was no difference between predawn and dusk measurements. As leaf N increased, starch concentration increased linearly at dusk, but decreased linearly at predawn. The calculated carbon export from starch degradation during the night increased with increasing leaf N. These results showed that 1) grapes leaves accumulated less soluble carbohydrates under N-limitation; 2) the elevated starch level in low N leaves at predawn was the result of the reduced carbon export from starch degradation during the night; and 3) the reduced capacity of CO2 assimilation in low N leaves was caused by the coordinated decreases in the activities of key enzymes involved in CO2 assimilation as a result of direct N limitation, not by the indirect feedback repression of CO2 assimilation via sugar accumulation.

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Gorka Perpiñá, Jaime Cebolla-Cornejo, Cristina Esteras, Antonio J. Monforte and Belén Picó

the climacteric ripening, such as the formation of the AL and the synthesis of aroma volatiles, are ethylene dependent, whereas the sugar accumulation is ethylene-independent, and both ethylene-dependent and independent flesh softening have been

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Shin Hiratsuka, Yuka Yokoyama, Hiroshi Nishimura, Takayuki Miyazaki and Kazuyoshi Nada

on the physiological role of fruit PEPC in sugar accumulation of mature fruit. According to Blanke and Lenz (1989) , fruit have an intermediate status between C 3 and C 4 /CAM photosynthesis, and thus fixation of CO 2 by PEPC might contribute to

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ZhaoSen Xie, Charles F. Forney, WenPing Xu and ShiPing Wang

mechanistic understanding of this phenomenon. Grape ( Vitis vinifera ) berry is one of the economically important sink organs in which sugar accumulation is a major determinant of yield and quality. The vascular system of the berry includes dorsal (peripheral

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Toshihiro Saito, Norio Takada, Hidenori Kato, Shingo Terakami and Sogo Nishio

-sweetness cultivars with not only high sugar content but also high fructose and sucrose contents. To efficiently breed cultivars with these traits, molecular markers associated with sugar accumulation and sugar metabolism are needed. Previously, we and our colleagues