Photosynthetic activity of the calyx, green shoulder, pericarp, and locular parenchyma of tomato fruit

Smillie, Robert M., Hetherington, Suzan E. and Davies, W. J. (1999) Photosynthetic activity of the calyx, green shoulder, pericarp, and locular parenchyma of tomato fruit. Journal of Experimental Botany, 50 334: 707-718. doi:10.1093/jexbot/50.334.707

Author Smillie, Robert M.
Hetherington, Suzan E.
Davies, W. J.
Title Photosynthetic activity of the calyx, green shoulder, pericarp, and locular parenchyma of tomato fruit
Journal name Journal of Experimental Botany   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0957
Publication date 1999-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/jexbot/50.334.707
Volume 50
Issue 334
Start page 707
End page 718
Total pages 12
Place of publication London, U.K.
Publisher Oxford University Press.
Collection year 1999
Language eng
Subject C1
270402 Plant Physiology
620208 Vegetables
Formatted abstract
Photosynthesis of tomato fruit was studied using green fruit from six heritage cultivars of Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. and one of Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium. Chlorophyll concentrations in the green shoulder, pericarp and locular parenchyma of the fruit were determined and the apparent photosynthetic electron transport activity (ETR) and chlorophyll fluorescence quenching characteristics of these tissues and the calyx were compared. In all cultivars, green shoulder formation, apparent as intense pigmentation of the proximal pericarp shoulder, was positively related to the degree of shading of the fruit during development. Appearing as a photosynthetic adaptive trait for increasing the photoautotrophic capacity of fruit grown under low light, the green shoulder contained 17–57% of the total pericarp chlorophyll content. The pericarp below the green shoulder had lower chlorophyll a+b concentrations than in the locular parenchyma. The proportion of light-harvesting chlorophyll to active centre chlorophyll was also lower in the pericarp than in the locular parenchyma as indicated by higher ratios of chlorophyll a/b. At a photon flux density (PFD) of 1200 µmol m–2 s–1, different fruit tissues were found to have different levels of ETR. In ‘Yellow Pear’, the upper surface of the calyx had an ETR of 154 µmol m–2 s–1, while the lower surface had an ETR of 88 µmol m–2 s–1. On the green shoulder, ETR was 203 µmol m–2 s–1, whereas in the pericarp distal to the green shoulder, ETR was 97 µmol m–2 s–1. In the locular parenchyma, ETR was 66 µmol m–2 s–1. This trend towards a lower ETR in distal and internal fruit tissues appeared to indicate a shift towards a more shade-type photosynthesis. Concomitant with this shift were changes in chlorophyll fluorescence quenching characteristics. Generally when tissues displayed reduced levels of ETR they also displayed a faster decrease in the photochemical quenching coefficient qP and a more rapid diversion of absorbed photon energy to non-photochemical pathways which was seen by the rise in the non-photochemical quenching coefficient qN. However, the response of the locular parenchyma was an exception, under equivalent levels of PFD the qP levels in this tissue were much lower than those in the pericarp, but qN levels were similar. This finding indicated that the lower ETR of the locular parenchyma was due to a lower capacity to utilize electrons generated from water splitting rather than a greater diversion of absorbed photon energy to nonphotochemical pathways. The levels of photosynthetic activity found in the calyx, green shoulder, pericarp, and locular parenchyma suggest that all of these tissues have significant roles in CO2 scavenging and the provision of carbon assimilates. The potential role of fruit photosynthesis in influencing the fruit acid to sugar ratio and hence fruit quality is discussed.
© Oxford University Press 1999
Keyword Plant Sciences
Chlorophyll Fluorescence
Sucrose-phosphate Synthase
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
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Created: Tue, 10 Jun 2008, 14:56:36 EST