5′‐Methylthioadenosine nucleosidase and 5‐methylthioribose kinase activities in relation to stress‐induced ethylene biosynthesis

M. M. Kushad, A. Orvos, A. J. Ferro

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The activities of 5’‐methylthioadenosine (MTA) nucleosidase (EC and 5‐methylthioribose (MTR) kinase (EC were related to changes in ethylene biosynthesis in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. Rutgers) and cucumber (Cucumis sativus Mill. cv. Poinsett 76) fruit following wounding and chemically induced stresses. Stress ethylene formation in wounded tomato and cucumber tissue continued to increase after wounding, reached its peak by 3h, and then declined. The activities of MTA nucleosidase and MTR kinase increased parallel to stress ethylene in both tissues. At peak ethylene formation, MTA and MTR kinase activities were 2‐ to 4‐fold higher in wounded than in intact tissue. Wounded, mature‐green tomato tissue treated with specific inhibitors of MTA nucleosidase and MTR kinase showed a significant reduction in the activities of these enzymes, which was concomitant with a decline in stress ethylene biosynthesis. When mature‐green tomato discs were infiltrated with [14CH3] MTA and wounded, radioactive MTR and methionine were formed. Incubation of mature‐green tomato discs with Cu2+ and Li+ in the presence of kinetin increased ethylene biosynthesis. MTA nucleosidase activity was higher than that of the control in the presence of Cu2+ but not in the presence of Li+, while MTR kinase activity was lower than that of the control in both Cu2+ and Li+ treatments. Data indicate that MTA nucleosidase and MTR kinase are required for wound‐induced ethylene biosynthesis but not for chemical stress‐induced ethylene by Cu2+ or Li+ treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-538
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1992



  • 5‐methylthioadenosine metabolism
  • Chemical stress
  • wound ethylene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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