The final step of the ethylene biosynthesis pathway in turnip tops (Brassica rapa): molecular characterization of the 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase BrACO1 throughout zygotic embryogenesis and germination of heterogeneous seeds.

Research paper by María M Del Carmen Rodríguez-Gacio, Carlos C Nicolás, Angel Jesús AJ Matilla

Indexed on: 17 Apr '04Published on: 17 Apr '04Published in: Physiologia Plantarum


In a previous report from the present authors, it was shown that the 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) oxidation may play a crucial role during zygotic embryogenesis of turnip tops seeds. The present study was performed to elucidate the contribution of the silique-wall and seeds in ethylene production during this developmental process. ACC content in the silique wall is only higher than in seeds during the middle phases of zygotic embryogenesis. The ACC-oxidase (ACO) activity peaks in the silique-wall and seeds during the onset of embryogenesis, declining gradually afterwards, being undetectable during desiccation period. Using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, one cDNA clone coding for an ACO and called BrACO1, was isolated. The deduced protein for BrACO1 has a molecular weight of 36.8 kDa and a high homology with other crucifer ACOs. The heterologous expression of this cDNA confirmed that BrACO1 is an ACO. The expression of this gene was high during the first phases of silique-wall development, low during the middle phases and undetectable during desiccation. By contrast, BrACO1 transcript was accumulated only in the earliest phases of seed embryogenesis and may participate in the highest ACO activity and ethylene production by seeds at the beginning of embryogenesis. Finally, in this work a correlation between the heterogeneity of Brassica rapa L. cv. Rapa seeds and the ability to oxidize the ACC to ethylene has been demonstrated.