Endo-β-mannanase activity increases in the skin and outer pericarp of tomato fruits during ripening

J.D. Bewley, M. Banik, R. Bourgault, A. Fuertado, P. Toorop, H.W.M. Hilhorst

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54 Citations (Scopus)


Activity of endo-ß-mannanase increases during ripening of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) fruit of the cultivar Trust. ß-Mannoside mannohydrolase is also present during ripening, but its pattern of activity is different from that of endo-ß-mannanase. The increase in endo-ß-mannanase activity is greatest in the skin, and less in the outer and inner pericarp regions. This enzyme is probably bound to the walls of the outermost cell layers of the fruit during ripening, and it requires a high-salt buffer for effective extraction. The enzyme protein, as detected immunologically on Western blots, is present during the early stages of ripening, before any enzyme activity is detectable. The mRNA for the enzyme is also present at these stages; endo-ß-mannanase may be produced and sequestered in a mature-sized inactive form during early ripening. Most non-ripening mutants of tomato exhibit reduced softening and lower endo-ß-mannanase activity, but a cause-and-effect relationship between the enzyme and ripening is unlikely because some cultivars which ripen normally do not exhibit any endo-ß-mannanase activity in the fruit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-538
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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