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Differential expression of two endo-1,4-beta-glucanase genes in pericarp and locules of wild-type and mutant tomato fruit

Gonzalez-Bosch, C., Brummell, D.A., Bennett, A.B.
Plant physiology 1996 v.111 no.4 pp. 1313-1319
Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, mutants, pericarp, beta-glucanase, structural genes, gene expression, messenger RNA, fruiting, ripening, developmental stages, ethylene
The mRNA accumulation of two endo-1,4-beta-D-glucanase genes, Cel1 and Cel2, was examined in the pericarp and locules throughout the development of normal tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) fruit and the ripening-impaired mutants rin and Nr. Both Cel1 and Cel2 were expressed transiently at the earliest stages of fruit development during a period corresponding to cell division and early cell expansion. In the pericarp, the mRNA abundance of both genes increased markedly at the breaker stage; the level of Cel1 mRNA decreased later in ripening, and that of Cel2 increased progressively. Cel2 mRNA levels also increased at the breaker stage in locules but after initial locule liquefaction was already complete. In rin fruit mRNA abundance of Cel1 was reduced and Cel2 was virtually absent, whereas in Nr Cel1 was expressed at wild-type levels and Cel2 was reduced. In wild-type fruit ethylene treatment slightly promoted the mRNA accumulation of both genes. In rin fruit ethylene treatment strongly increased the mRNA abundance of Cel1 to an extent greater than in wild-type fruit, but Cel2 mRNA was absent even after ethylene treatment. These two endo-1,4-beta-D-glucanase genes, therefore, do not show coordinated expression during fruit development and are subject to distinct regulatory control. These results suggest that the product of the Cel2 gene contributes to ripening-associated cell-wall changes.