The uptake of radioactive glucose and sucrose by protoplasts isolated from pericarp and placenta tissues of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum cv. Counter) fruit was investigated in relation to the dry matter accumulation rates of these tissues. Uptake of glucose by protoplasts isolated from pericarp tissue was highest in fruit of around 20 g fresh weight or 25 days after anthesis. Sucrose uptake by pericarp protoplasts was lower than that of glucose and did not show a peak of uptake. The maximum rate of glucose uptake by protoplasts from the pericarp was at the time when the tomato fruit was accumulating dry matter at the highest rate. Glucose uptake by placenta protoplasts was lower and at a similar level as sucrose.
Protoplast uptake of glucose, but not of sucrose, was partially inhibited by (1) p-chloromercuribenzene sulphonic acid, a sulphydryl group modifier; (2) erythrosin B, an H+-ATPase inhibitor; and (3) valinomycin, a K+-ionophore, suggesting that membrane transport of glucose by tomato fruit sink cells may be a carrier-mediated, energy-dependent process.
The main route of carbohydrate accumulation by tomato fruit during the period of rapid fruit growth may be by cleavage of sucrose by apoplastic acid invertase prior to hexose transport across the plasma membrane.