, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 157-168

Energy Conservation and Dissipation in Mitochondria Isolated from Developing Tomato Fruit of Ethylene-Defective Mutants Failing Normal Ripening: The Effect of Ethephon, A Chemical Precursor of Ethylene

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Alternative oxidase (AOX) and uncoupling protein (UCP) are present simultaneously in tomato fruit mitochondria. In a previous work, it has been shown that protein expression and activity of these two energy-dissipating systems exhibit large variations during tomato fruit development and ripening on the vine. It has been suggested that AOX and UCP could be responsible for the respiration increase at the end of ripening and that the cytochrome pathway could be implicated in the climacteric respiratory burst before the onset of ripening. In this study, the use of tomato mutants that fail normal ripening because of deficiencies in ethylene perception or production as well as the treatment of one selected mutant with a chemical precursor of ethylene have revealed that the bioenergetics of tomato fruit development and ripening is under the control of this plant hormone. Indeed, the evolution pattern of bioenergetic features changes with the type of mutation and with the introduction of ethylene into an ethylene-synthesis-deficient tomato fruit mutant during its induced ripening.