To elucidate the role of ethylene in the production of flavor compounds by tomato fruits, wild-type tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L., cv. Lichun) and its transgenic antisense LeACS2 line with suppressed ethylene biosynthesis were used. The metabolism of individual sugars was ethylene-independent. However, citric acid and malic acid were under ethylene regulation. The content of these acids was higher in transgenic tomato fruits and returned to normal level after transgenic fruits were treated with ethylene. Because most of amino acids, which are important precursors of volatiles, were shown to be correlated with ethylene, we surmise that amino acid-related aroma volatiles were also affected by ethylene. Headspace analysis of volatiles showed a significant accumulation of aldehydes in wild-type tomato fruits during fruit ripening and showed a dramatic decrease in most aroma volatiles in transgenic tomato fruits as compared with wild-type fruits. The production of hexanal, hexanol, trans-2-heptenal, cis-3-hexanol, and carotenoid-related volatiles, except β-damascenone and β-ionone, was inhibited by suppression of ethylene biosynthesis. No remarkable differences were observed in the concentrations of cis-3-hexenal and trans-2-hexenal between transgenic and wild-type tomato fruits, indicating these two volatiles to be independent of ethylene. Thus, there are various regulation patterns of flavor profiles in tomato fruits by ethylene.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 6, 2007
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