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Effect of Silver Ions on Ethylene Biosynthesis by Tomato Fruit Tissue 1

  • Mordy A. Atta-Aly
  • Mikal E. Saltveit
  • Graeme E. Hobson
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1987
  • Biology


Mature-green tomato fruit (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were treated asymmetrically with 2 millimolar silver thiosulfate (STS) through a cut portion of the peduncle while still attached to the plant. One-half of the fruit received silver and remained green while the other half ripened normally and was silver-free (less than 0.01 parts per billion). Harvested mature-green fruit were also treated with STS through the cut pedicel. Green tissue from silver-treated fruit had levels of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC, the immediate ethylene precursor) slightly less or similar to that of turning or red-ripe tissue from the same fruit, and similar to that of mature-green tissue from control fruit. Ethylene production was higher in green tissue from silver-treated fruit than from either red tissue from the same fruit, or mature-green tissue from control fruit. By inhibiting ACC synthesis with aminoethoxyvinyl glycine, and by applying ACC ± silver to excised disks of pericarp tissue from control or silver-treated tomatoes, we showed that short-term silver treatment did not affect the biological conversion of ACC to ethylene, while long-term treatment stimulated both the conversion of ACC to ethylene and the synthesis of ACC.

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