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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 515: XXV International Horticultural Congress, Part 5: Culture Techniques with Special Emphasis on Environmental Implications Chemical, Physical and Biological Means of Regulating Crop Growth in Ornamentals and Other Crops

ENZYMATIC CHANGES AND OIL ACCUMULATION DURING ALMOND KERNEL DEVELOPMENT

Authors:   K. Kumar, S.D. Sharma, R.K. Goyal
Keywords:   Prunus dulcis, almond, development, enzymes, kernel, oil
Abstract:
Changes in dry matter, oil content and enzymatic activities at different stages of kernel development in four almond cultivars viz., Ne Plus Ultra, Ribba Selection, Spillo-7 and White Brandis were monitored. Both kernel fresh weight and dry matter percentage increased continuously with kernel maturation until 110 DAF when fresh weight starts declining. Over 80% of dry matter and oil was accumulated during the period of mid-stage of kernel development until harvest. The enzyme activities of G-6-P dehydrogenase, pyruvate kinase and malate dehydrogenase paralleled with the rate of oil deposition. The soluble acid invertase declined steadily while soluble alkaline invertase increased gradually with kernel maturation. The opposite trend of acid and alkaline invertase suggests a preferential role for alkaline invertase during later period of kernel development. Both early and late maturing cultivars depicted a similar trend of enzymatic changes in relation to oil synthesis. The reasonably active invertases compared with their maximum values and a high level of both pyruvate kinase and malate dehydrogenase reflect an active stage of metabolism during the late stage of kernel growth. The drying of kernel which restricts the inflow of assimilates as well as forbids the expression of enzyme activities, is probably the limiting factor for further accumulation of oil.
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