, Volume 200, Issue 2, pp 265–272

The impact of reduced vacuolar invertase activity on the photosynthetic and carbohydrate metabolism of tomato

  • Julie Scholes
  • Nicholas Bundock
  • Robin Wilde
  • Stephen Rolfe


The impact of reduced vacuolar invertase activity on photosynthetic and carbohydrate metabolism was examined in tomato (Solanum lycopersicon L.). The introduction of a co-suppression construct (derived from tomato vacuolar invertase cDNA) produced plants containing a range of vacuolar invertase activities. In the leaves of most transgenic plants from line INV-B, vacuolar invertase activity was below the level of detection, whereas leaves from line INV-A and untransformed wild-type plants showed considerable variation. Apoplasmic invertase activity was not affected by the co-suppression construct. It has been suggested that, in leaves, vacuolar invertase activity regulates sucrose content and its availability for export, such that in plants with high vacuolar invertase activity a futile cycle of sucrose synthesis and degradation takes place. In INV-B plants with no detectable leaf vacuolar invertase activity, sucrose accumulated to much higher levels than in wild-type plants, and hexoses were barely detectable. There was a clear threshold relationship between invertase activity and sucrose content, and a linear relationship with hexose content. From these data the following conclusions can be drawn. (i) In INV-B plants sucrose enters the vacuole where it accumulates as hydrolysis cannot take place. (ii) There was not an excess of vacuolar invertase activity in the vacuole; the rate of sucrose hydrolysis depended upon the concentration of the enzyme. (iii) The rate of import of sucrose into the vacuole is also important in determining the rate of sucrose hydrolysis. The starch content of leaves was not significantly different in any of the plants examined. In tomato plants grown at high irradiance there was no impact of vacuolar invertase activity on the rate of photosynthesis or growth. The impact of the cosuppression construct on root vacuolar invertase activity and carbohydrate metabolism was less marked.

Key words

Carbohydrate metabolism Invertase (co-suppression construct) Photosynthesis Lycopersicon Vacuole 



Cauliflower Mosaic Virus


wild type


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Scholes
    • 1
  • Nicholas Bundock
    • 1
  • Robin Wilde
    • 2
  • Stephen Rolfe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal and Plant SciencesUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Zeneca Plant Science, Jealott's Hill Research StationBracknellUK

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