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Asian Journal of Plant Sciences
Year: 2004  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 76 - 81

Glutamine Synthetase in Harvested Broccoli Head: Changes in Activity andGene Expression During Storage

Toshiyukii Matsui, Pankaj Kumar Bhowmik and Kyousuke Yokozeki    

Abstract: Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. cv. Hartland) cDNA clone coding the enzyme glutamine synthetase (GS; EC 6.3.1.2.) was isolated from a cDNA library prepared from broccoli head using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The partial cDNA clone encodes an mRNA of 695 bp and the derived amino acid sequence is highly homologus to GS from rice cytosol, maize and European grape. GS has a central role in plant nitrogen metabolism and a key enzyme in the assimilation of ammonia. Broccoli head quality deteriorates rapidly after harvest and is associated with an increase in the ammonia content of the floret portions. In order to define the factors contributing to postharvest deterioration of broccoli head, the changes in GS activity and gene expression in the floret and branchlet portions of the broccoli were examined during storage. Northern blot analysis showed that the level of transcript of GS fluctuated in the floret and branchlet portions during storage. Expression of GS gene in the floret portion was observed more clearly but it was weak in the branchlet portion that might be due to the lower activity of GS in branchlet portions.

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