, Volume 76, Issue 1-2, pp 1-18
Date: 09 Mar 2011

Metabolism of soluble sugars in developing melon fruit: a global transcriptional view of the metabolic transition to sucrose accumulation

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The sweet melon fruit is characterized by a metabolic transition during its development that leads to extensive accumulation of the disaccharide sucrose in the mature fruit. While the biochemistry of the sugar metabolism pathway of the cucurbits has been well studied, a comprehensive analysis of the pathway at the transcriptional level allows for a global genomic view of sugar metabolism during fruit sink development. We identified 42 genes encoding the enzymatic reactions of the sugar metabolism pathway in melon. The expression pattern of the 42 genes during fruit development of the sweet melon cv Dulce was determined from a deep sequencing analysis performed by 454 pyrosequencing technology, comprising over 350,000 transcripts from four stages of developing melon fruit flesh, allowing for digital expression of the complete metabolic pathway. The results shed light on the transcriptional control of sugar metabolism in the developing sweet melon fruit, particularly the metabolic transition to sucrose accumulation, and point to a concerted metabolic transition that occurs during fruit development.