, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 213-221

Transgenic tomato plants with decreased sucrose synthase are unaltered in starch and sugar accumulation in the fruit

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Sucrose is the photoassimilate transported from the leaves to the fruit of tomato yet the fruit accumulates predominantly glucose and fructose. Hydrolysis of sucrose entering the fruit can be accomplished by invertase or sucrose synthase. Early in tomato fruit development there is a transient increase in sucrose synthase activity and starch which is correlated with fruit growth and sink strength suggesting a regulatory role for sucrose synthase in sugar import. Using an antisense sucrose synthase cDNA under the control of a fruit-specific promoter we show that sucrose synthase activity can be reduced by up to 99% in young fruit without affecting starch or sugar accumulation. This result calls into question the importance of sucrose synthase in regulating sink strength in tomato fruit.