Alteration of the interconversion of pyruvate and malate in the plastid or cytosol of ripening tomato fruit invokes diverse consequences on sugar but similar effects on cellular organic acid, metabolism, and transitory starch accumulation

Sonia Osorio, José G. Vallarino, Marek Szecowka, Shai Ufaz, Vered Tzin, Ruthie Angelovici, Gad Galili, Alisdair R. Fernie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aim of this work was to investigate the effect of decreased cytosolic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and plastidic NADP-dependent malic enzyme (ME) on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) ripening. Transgenic tomato plants with strongly reduced levels of PEPCK and plastidic NADP-ME were generated by RNA interference gene silencing under the control of a ripening-specific E8 promoter. While these genetic modifications had relatively little effect on the total fruit yield and size, they had strong effects on fruit metabolism. Both transformants were characterized by lower levels of starch at breaker stage. Analysis of the activation state of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase correlated with the decrease of starch in both transformants, which suggests that it is due to an altered cellular redox status. Moreover, metabolic profiling and feeding experiments involving positionally labeled glucoses of fruits lacking in plastidic NADP-ME and cytosolic PEPCK activities revealed differential changes in overall respiration rates and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle flux. Inactivation of cytosolic PEPCK affected the respiration rate, which suggests that an excess of oxaloacetate is converted to aspartate and reintroduced in the TCA cycle via 2-oxoglutarate/glutamate. On the other hand, the plastidic NADP-ME antisense lines were characterized by no changes in respiration rates and TCA cycle flux, which together with increases of pyruvate kinase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase activities indicate that pyruvate is supplied through these enzymes to the TCA cycle. These results are discussed in the context of current models of the importance of malate during tomato fruit ripening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-643
Number of pages16
JournalPlant Physiology
Volume161
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

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