The respiration of fresh slices of preclimacteric avocado ( Persea americana Mill. var. Hass) and banana ( Musa cavendishii var. Valery) fruits is stimulated by cyanide and antimycin. The respiration is sensitive to m -chlorobenzhydroxamic acid in the presence of cyanide but much less so in the presence of antimycin. In the absence of cyanide the contribution of the cyanide-resistant pathway to the coupled preclimacteric respiration is zero. In uncoupled slices, by contrast, the alternate path is engaged and utilized fully in avocado, and extensively in banana. Midclimacteric and peak climacteric slices are also cyanide-resistant and, in the presence of cyanide, sensitive to m -chlorobenzhydroxamic acid. In the absence of uncoupler there is no contribution by the alternate path in either tissue. In uncoupled midclimacteric avocado slices the alternate path is fully engaged. Midclimacteric banana slices, however, do not respond to uncouplers, and the alternate path is not engaged. Avocado and banana slices at the climacteric peak neither respond to uncouplers nor utilize the alternate path in the presence or absence of uncoupler. The maximal capacities of the cytochrome and alternate paths, V cyt and V alt , respectively, have been estimated in slices from preclimacteric and climacteric avocado fruit and found to remain unchanged. The total respiratory capacity in preclimacteric and climacteric slices exceeds the respiratory rise which attends fruit ripening. In banana V alt decreases slightly with ripening. The aging of thin preclimacteric avocado slices in moist air results in ripening with an accompanying climacteric rise. In this case the alternate path is fully engaged at the climacteric peak, and the respiration represents the total potential respiratory capacity present in preclimacteric tissue. The respiratory climacteric in intact avocado and banana fruits is cytochrome path-mediated, whereas the respiratory climacteric of ripened thin avocado slices comprises the alternate as well as the cytochrome path. The ripening of intact fruits is seemingly independent of the nature of the electron transport path. Uncouplers are thought to stimulate glycolysis to the point where the glycolytic flux exceeds the oxidative capacity of the cytochrome path, with the result that the alternate path is engaged.
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