Galactose inhibits the conversion of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic Acid to ethylene in aged tobacco leaf discs.

Plant Physiology
S Philosoph-Hadas, N Aharoni


d-Galactose has been shown to have toxic and growth inhibitory effects in plants. When applied at levels of 50 millimolar to tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv Xanthi) leaf discs galactose caused a rapid increase in ethylene production during the first 2 days of incubation, followed by a rapid return to the basal level on the third day. This pattern of galactose-stimulated ethylene production was accompanied by increased formation of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), which accumulated without being metabolized to ethylene or to the ACC-conjugate. The inhibitory effect of galactose (50 millimolar) on the conversion of ACC of ethylene was relieved partially by d-glucose or sucrose (50 millimolar), and completely by CO(2) (10%), which were shown to enhance this conversion by themselves. Consequently, application of galactose plus any one of these compounds increased ethylene production and decreased free ACC levels. The data suggest that galactose toxicity may result in both an increased ethylene production as well as in accumulation of free ACC in aged discs. The increased ethylene production rates and ACC levels may, in turn, play a role in the development of symptoms associated with galactose toxicity.

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