Characterization of ethylene biosynthesis associated with ripening in banana fruit

Xuejun Liu, Shinjiro Shiomi, Akira Nakatsuka, Yasutaka Kubo, Reinosuke Nakamura, Akitsugu Inaba

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156 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the characteristics of ethylene biosynthesis associated with ripening in banana (Musa sp. [AAA group, Cavendish subgroup] cv Grand Nain) fruit. MA-ACS1 encoding 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) synthase in banana fruit was the gene related to the ripening process and was inducible by exogenous ethylene. At the onset of the climacteric period in naturally ripened fruit, ethylene production increased greatly, with a sharp peak concomitant with an increase in the accumulation of MA-ACS1 mRNA, and then decreased rapidly. At the onset of ripening, the in vivo ACC oxidase activity was enhanced greatly, followed by an immediate and rapid decrease. Expression of the MA-ACO1 gene encoding banana ACC oxidase was detectable at the preclimacteric stage, increased when ripening commenced, and then remained high throughout the later ripening stage despite of a rapid reduction in the ACC oxidase activity. This discrepancy between enzyme activity and gene expression of ACC oxidase could be, at least in part, due to reduced contents of ascorbate and iron, cofactors for the enzyme, during ripening. Addition of these cofactors to the incubation medium greatly stimulated the in vivo ACC oxidase activity during late ripening stages. The results suggest that ethylene production in banana fruit is regulated by transcription of MA-ACS1 until climacteric rise and by reduction of ACC oxidase activity possibly through limited in situ availability of its cofactors once ripening has commenced, which in turn characterizes the sharp peak of ethylene production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1257-1265
Number of pages9
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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