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Acidic alpha galactosidase during the maturation and cold storage of cherry tomatoes

Tsaniklidis, Georgios, Benovias, Argirios, Delis, Costas, Aivalakis, Georgios
Acta physiologiae plantarum 2016 v.38 no.2 pp. 57
Solanum lycopersicum, acclimation, alpha-galactosidase, cell walls, cherry tomatoes, cold, cold storage, enzyme activity, firmness, fruiting, fruits, genes, germination, isozymes, messenger RNA, metabolism, raffinose, seeds, total soluble solids
Acidic alpha galactosidase appears to have multiple roles in cherry tomato Solanum lycopersicum L. var. cerasiforme fruit development and post-harvest storage. The localization of the enzyme and its activity suggest that enzyme accumulation in seeds during development probably serves as a provision for germination. However, it is well known that alpha galactosidase also participates in cell wall degradation, raffinose class oligosaccharide metabolism and in cold acclimation in fruits kept at cold storage. Both the enzyme activity and gene transcript accumulation were elevated at the mature green stage (478.73 nm nitrophenol/min g FW and 0.245, respectively), the cold storage at 5 °C only the alpha galactosidase transcription levels were considerably elevated (210.80 nm nitrophenol/min g FW and 0.492 relative transcript accumulation) while at 10 °C for 120 h considerably affected both the enzyme activity and transcription levels (402.06 nm nitrophenol/min g FW and 0.596, respectively). Significant correlation was found between the loss of firmness of the fruits and the levels of soluble solids and the accumulation of transcripts of the alpha galactosidase gene. Finally, it is suggested that only one isoenzyme form of acidic alpha galactosidase is active during the maturation process in the cherry tomatoes of the cv. Concita. In conclusion, our findings suggest that alpha galactosidase contributes, along with other hydrolases, in several metabolic processes closely connected to the quality of tomato fruits during maturation and post-harvest storage.