Cloning and expression of genes related to the sucrose-metabolizing enzymes and carbohydrate changes in peach
Korir, Nicholas Kibet
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To shed light on the relationship between sucrose metabolism and expression of genes related to sucrose-metabolizing enzymes, six genes encoding sucrose-metabolizing enzymes were isolated, and the levels of four main carbohydrates and related enzyme activities as well as the expression of these six genes were determined in fruits, leaves and phloem-enriched fraction throughout peach fruit development. Sucrose content in mature fruit ranked first followed by glucose, fructose and sorbitol in that order, while sorbitol was the highest and sucrose lowest in phloem-enriched fraction and leaves. Glucose and fructose had similar change patterns throughout fruit development. Cloning results reveal that the nucleotide sequences of the six genes have high similarity to corresponding genes isolated from other plants. In addition, the expression of these genes and the levels of related enzyme activities varied with tissue and stage of fruit development, suggesting a complexity in relationships between carbohydrates, enzymes activities and related gene expression. Sucrose phosphate synthase maybe a key enzyme involved in sucrose synthesis while sucrose synthase may mainly be responsible for sucrose synthesis in peach fruits at later stages of development. Further studies are needed to genetically and physiologically characterize these genes and enzymes in peach and to gain a better understanding of their functions and relationship with carbohydrate metabolism.