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Asian Journal of Plant Sciences
Year: 2004  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 50 - 54

Phenylalanine Ammonia Lyase Inhibitors-2,5-Norbornadiene and α-Aminooxi-β-phenylpropionic Acid Reduce Toughening and Lignification of Stored Asparagus Spears

Pankaj Kumar Bhowmik, Toshiyuki Matsui, Masayuki Fujita, Md. Zakir Hossain and Eizou Miki    

Abstract: Two inhibitors of the first enzyme phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) in the phenylpropanoid pathway were used to investigate the role of phenolic metabolism in lignification and toughness of Asparagus spears. Spears were soaked for 1 h at 20°C in aqueous solution of α-aminooxi-β-phenylpropionic acid (AOPP) at 0, 100, 300 and 600 μM. Liquid 2,5-Norbornadiene (NBD) was applied with a micropipette onto a sheet of filter paper in a 6.4 liter big jar which was immediately sealed with a cover. Liquid NBD readily volatilized at 25°C in a closed chamber. The amount of liquid applied was calculated to give the desired gaseous concentration (6000 μl L-1) in the jar. Both AOPP and NBD inhibited PAL activity and significantly decreased fiber content in both top and bottom portions of the spears. Northern blot analysis showed that expression in mRNA level coincided well with the changes in PAL activity and fiber content. These results confirm the view that AOPP and NBD, inhibitors of PAL enzyme activity, reduce PAL gene expression and decrease the fiber content of Asparagus spears, suggesting that downstream products of PAL enzyme activity may have a regulatory role in the lignification process.

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