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The cellular pathway of postphloem sugar transport in developing tomato fruit

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Abstract

The cellular pathway of postphloem sugar transport was elucidated in the outer pericarp of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill cv. Floradade) fruit at 13–14 and 23–25 days after anthesis (DAA). These developmental stages are characterized by phloem-imported sugars being accumulated as starch and hexose, respectively. The symplasmic tracer, 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein, loaded into the storage parenchyma cells of pericarp discs, moved readily in the younger fruit but was immobile in fruit at 23–25 DAA. Symplasmic mobility of [14C]glucose was found to be identical to 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein. For the older fruit, the pericarp apoplasm was shown to be freely permeable to the apoplasmic tracer, trisodium 3-hydroxy-5,8,10-pyrenetrisulfonate. Indeed, the transport capacity of the pericarp apoplasm was such that the steady-state rate of in-vitro glucose uptake by pericarp discs accounted fully for the estimated rate of in-vivo glucose accumulation. For fruit at 23–25 DAA, the inhibitory effects of the sulfhydryl group modifier, p-chloromer-curibenzenesulfonic acid (PCMBS), on [14C]glucose and [14C]fructose uptake by the pericarp discs depended on the osmolality of the external solution. The inhibition was most pronounced for pericarp discs enriched in storage parenchyma. Consistent with the PCMBS study, strong fluorescent signals were exhibited by the storage parenchyma cells of pericarp discs exposed to the membrane-impermeable thiol-binding fluorochrome, mono-bromotrimethylammoniobimane. The fluorescent weak acid, sulphorhodamine G, was accumulated preferentially by the storage parenchyma cells. Accumulation of sulphorhodamine G was halted by the ATPase inhibitor erythrosin B, suggesting the presence of a plasma-membrane-bound H+-ATPase. A linkage between the putative H+-ATPase activity and hexose transport was demonstrated by an erythrosin-B inhibition of [14C]glucose and [14C]fructose uptake. In contrast, comparable evidence for an energy-coupled hexose porter could not be found in the pericarp of younger fruit at 13–14 DAA. Overall, the data are interpreted to indicate that: (i) The postphloem cellular pathway in the outer fruit pericarp shifts from the symplasm during starch accumulation (13–14 DAA) to the apoplasm for rapid hexose accumulation (23–25 DAA). (ii) An energy-coupled plasma-membrane hexose carrier is expressed specifically in storage parenchyma cells at the latter stage of fruit development.

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Abbreviations

CF:

5(6)-carboxyfluorescein

CFDA:

5(6)-car-boxyfluorescein diacetate

DAA:

days after anthesis

EB:

erythrosin B

PCMBS:

p-chloromercuribenzenesulfonic acid

PTS:

trisodium 3-hydroxy-5,8,10-pyrenetrisulfonate

qBBr:

monobromotrimethylammoniobimane

SE-CC:

sieve element-companion cell

SRG:

sulphorhodamine G

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Y.L.R. thanks The University of Newcastle and Department of Education, Employment and Training of the Australian Government for a Postgraduate Research Scholarship and an Overseas Postgraduate Research Award respectively. Valuable comments by Drs C.J. Brady and C.E. Offler on an earlier draft of the manuscript were much appreciated. The work was partially supported by a grant from the Research Management Committee, The University of Newcastle.

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Ruan, YL., Patrick, J.W. The cellular pathway of postphloem sugar transport in developing tomato fruit. Planta 196, 434–444 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00203641

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