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A comparative study of melting and non-melting flesh peach cultivars reveals that during fruit ripening endo-polygalacturonase (endo-PG) is mainly involved in pericarp textural changes, not in firmness reduction.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21511903     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Peach softening is usually attributed to the dismantling of the cell wall in which endo-polygalacturonase (endo-PG)-catalysed depolymerization of pectins plays a central role. In this study, the hypothesis that the function of endo-PG is critical for achieving a melting flesh fruit texture but not for reducing fruit firmness was tested by comparing pericarp morphology and endo-PG expression and localization in melting (MF) and non-melting flesh (NMF) fruit at successive stages of ripening. MF Bolero, Springbelle, and Springcrest, and NMF Oro-A and Jonia cultivars were analysed. Both MF and NMF fruit were left to ripen on the tree and reached a firmness of <10 Newtons (N). The image analysis of pericarp tissues revealed that during softening the loss of cell turgidity was a process common to mesocarp cells of all MF and NMF fruit and was clearly visible in peaches with a firmness of less than ∼20 N. In contrast, the loss of cell adhesion was a feature exclusively observed in ripe MF fruit pericarp. In this ripe fruit, large numbers of endo-PG isoforms were highly expressed and the enzyme localization corresponded to the middle lamella. As a consequence, wide apoplastic spaces characterized the pericarp of ripe MF peaches. In contrast, no loss of cell adhesion was observed in any NMF fruit or in unripe MF peaches. Accordingly, no endo-PG was detected in unripe NMF fruit, whereas few and poorly expressed enzyme isoforms were revealed in ripe NMF and in unripe MF peaches. In this fruit, the poorly expressed endo-PG localized mainly in vesicles within the cytoplasm and inner primary cell wall. On the whole the results suggested that endo-PG function was needed to achieve melting flesh texture, which was characterized by wide apoplastic spaces and partially deflated mesocarp cells. Conversely, endo-PG activity had no critical influence on the reduction of fruit firmness given the capacity of NMF peaches to soften, reaching values of 5-10 N. As in tomato, the change of symplast/apoplast water status seems to be the main process through which peach fruit regulates its firmness.
Authors:
A Ghiani; E Onelli; R Aina; M Cocucci; S Citterio
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-4-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental botany     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1460-2431     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-4-22     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9882906     Medline TA:  J Exp Bot     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza n. 1, 20126 Milan, Italy.
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