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Effects of shade on the development and sugar metabolism of coffee (Coffea arabica L.) fruits

Geromel C., Ferreira L.P., Davrieux F., Guyot B., Ribeyre F., Dos Santos Scholz M.B., Protasio Pereira L.F., Vaast P., Pot D., Leroy T., Androcioli Filho A., Gonzaga Esteves Vieira L., Mazzafera P., Marraccini P.. 2008. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 46 (5-6) : p. 569-579.

DOI: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2008.02.006

Coffee fruits grown in shade are characterized by larger bean size than those grown under full-sun conditions. The present study assessed the effects of shade on bean characteristics and sugar metabolism by analyzing tissue development, sugar contents, activities of sucrose metabolizing enzymes and expression of sucrose synthase-encoding genes in fruits of coffee (Coffea arabica L.) plants submitted to full-sun (FS) and shade (SH) conditions. Evolution of tissue fresh weights measured in fruits collected regularly from flowering to maturation indicated that this increase is due to greater development of the perisperm tissue in the shade. The effects of light regime on sucrose and reducing sugar (glucose and fructose) contents were studied in fresh and dry coffee beans. Shade led to a significant reduction in sucrose content and to an increase in reducing sugars. In pericarp and perisperm tissues, higher activities of sucrose synthase (EC and sucrose-phosphate synthase (SPS: EC were detected at maturation in the shade compared with full sun. These two enzymes also had higher peaks of activities in developing endosperm under shade than in full sun. It was also noted that shade modified the expression of SUS-encoding genes in coffee beans; CaSUS2 gene transcripts levels were higher in SH than in FS. As no sucrose increase accompanied these changes, this suggests that sucrose metabolism was redirected to other metabolic pathways that need to be identified.

Mots-clés : coffea arabica; métabolisme des glucides; développement biologique; culture sous couvert végétal; expression des gènes; fruit; composition chimique; saccharose; ombrage

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