a1 Department of Biology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada P7B 5E1
a2 Department of Botany, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1
Galactomannan hydrolysis in isolated endosperms of fenugreek seeds is promoted by the presence of the embryo. Incubation in a large volume in the absence of the axis also results in endosperm mobilization and an increase in endo-β-mannanase activity. This is prevented when endosperms are incubated in a small volume, or when abscisic acid is present in the large volume. Fenugreek endosperms contain abscisic acid which is present in greater concentrations when these tissues have been incubated in a small volume rather than in a large volume. Antibodies prepared against purified tomato endo-β-mannanase detect the fenugreek enzyme on Western blots. Endosperms contain equal amounts of this enzyme whether they are incubated in a large volume, or in a small volume, or in the presence of abscisic acid. Thus, increased enzymic activity may not be related to increased synthesis, but rather to activation or release from the cells into the galactomannan-containing cell walls.
(Received September 01 1990)
(Accepted November 15 1990)