Passe-Crassane pears require a 3-month chilling treatment at 0 °C to be able to produce ethylene and ripen autonomously after subsequent rewarming. The chilling treatment strongly stimulated ACC oxidase activity, and to a lesser extent ACC synthase activity. At the same time, the levels of mRNAs hybridizing to ACC synthase and ACC oxidase probes increased dramatically. Fruit stored at 18 °C immediately after harvest did not exhibit any of these changes, while fruit that had been previously chilled exhibited a burst of ethylene production associated with high activity of ACC oxidase and ACC synthase upon rewarming. ACC oxidase mRNA strongly accumulated in rewarmed fruits, while ACC synthase mRNA level decreased. The chilling-induced accumulation of ACC synthase and ACC oxidase transcripts was strongly reduced when ethylene action was blocked during chilling with 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP). Upon rewarming ACC synthase and ACC oxidase transcripts rapidly disappeared in 1-MCP-treated fruits. A five-week treatment of non-chilled fruits with the ethylene analog propylene led to increased expression of ACC oxidase and to ripening. However, ethylene synthesis, ACC synthase activity and ACC synthase mRNAs remained at very low level. Our data indicate that ACC synthase gene expression is regulated by ethylene only during, or after chilling treatment, while ACC oxidase gene expression can be induced separately by either chilling or ethylene.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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