Differential regulation of polygalacturonase and pectin methylesterase gene expression during and after heat stress in ripening tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) fruits

Varda Kagan-Zur, Denise M. Tieman, S. Jean Marlow, Avtar K. Handa

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31 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effects of extended heat stress on polygalacturonase (PG; EC 3.2.1.15) and pectin methylesterase (PME; EC 3.1.1.11) gene expression at mRNA, protein and activity levels in ripening tomato fruits were investigated. Steady state levels of PG mRNA declined at temperatures of 27°C and above, and a marked reduction in PG protein and activity was observed at temperatures of 32°C and above. Exogenous ethylene treatment did not reverse heat stress-induced inhibition of PG gene expression. Transfer of heat-stressed fruits to 20°C partly restored PG mRNA accumulation, but the rate of PG mRNA accumulation declined exponentially with duration of heat stress. Heat stress-induced inhibition of PME mRNA accumulation was recoverable even after 14 days of heat stress. In fruits held at 34°C, both PG and PME protein and activity continued to accumulate for about 4 days, but thereafter PG protein and activity declined while little change was observed in PME protein and activity. In spite of increases in mRNA levels of both PG and PME during the recovery of heat-stressed fruit at 20°C, levels of PG protein and activity declined in fruits heat-stressed for four or more days while PME protein and activity levels remained unchanged. Collectively, these data suggest that PG gene expression is being gradually and irreversibly shut off during heat stress, while PME gene expression is much less sensitive to heat stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1110
Number of pages10
JournalPlant Molecular Biology
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1995

Keywords

  • gene expression
  • heat stress
  • pectin methylesterase
  • polygalacturonase
  • tomato

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