Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology

Cloning and characterisation of ripening-induced ethylene biosynthetic genes from non-climacteric pineapple (Ananas comosus) fruits

Christopher Ian Cazzonelli, Antonino Salvatore Cavallaro and José Ramón Botella

Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 25(5) 513 - 518
Published: 1998


To gain a better understanding of non-climacteric fruit ripening, pineapple was used as a model system to clone and characterise two ripening-inducible cDNAs coding for two enzymes of the ethylene biosynthetic pathway, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) synthase (acacc-1) and 1-aminocyclo-propane- 1-carboxylate oxidase (acaco-1) respectively. Due to the extreme acidity and high polyphenolic content of pineapple fruits, a method was optimised for the extraction of high quality RNA from fruit tissue. acacc-1 is a 1080 bp ACC synthase cDNA fragment encoding 360 amino acids including 10 of the 12 amino acid residues conserved in all aminotransferases. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence with previously reported ACC synthases shows between 52 and 67% similarity at the protein level. Southern analysis suggests the presence of only one copy of acacc-1 in the pineapple genome. Although some acacc-1 expression is detected in green fruits, there is a 16-fold increase in the level of acacc-1 in ripe fruit tissue. acaco-1 is a partial length cDNA clone of 611 bp which codes for 203 amino acids representing approximately 66% of the ACC oxidase open reading frame. Southern analysis suggests the presence of one or two copies of the gene in the pineapple genome. Northern analysis shows the expression of acaco-1 to be highly induced in wounded leaf tissue and to a lesser extent in ripening fruit tissue. The accumulation of ACC-synthase and ACC oxidase mRNAs during pineapple fruit ripening raises new questions about the putative role of ethylene during non-climacteric fruit ripening.

© CSIRO 1998

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