The effects of cyanide and ethylene, respectively, were studied on the respiration of a fully cyanide-sensitive tissue-the fresh pea, a slightly cyanide-sensitive tissue-the germinating pea seedling, and a cyanide-insensitive tissue-the cherimoya fruit. Cyanide inhibition of both fresh pea and pea seedling respiration was attended by a conventional Pasteur effect where fermentation was enhanced with an accumulation of lactate and ethanol and a change in the level of glycolytic intermediates indicative of the activation of phosphofructokinase and pyruvate kinase accompanied by a sharp decline in ATP level. In these tissues, ethylene had little or no effect on the respiration rate, or on the level of glycolytic intermediates or ATP. By contrast, ethylene as well as cyanide enhanced both respiration and aerobic glycolysis in cherimoya fruits with no buildup of lactate and ethanol and with an increase in the level of ATP. The data support the proposition that for ethylene to stimulate respiration the capacity for cyanide-resistant respiration must be present.
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