Contrasting evidence has accumulated regarding the role of acid invertase and sucrose synthase in tomato fruit sink establishment and maintenance. In this work the relationships among the activities of sucrose synthase and acid invertase, Lycopersicon esculentum Mill cv UC-82B fruit growth, and starch accumulation were analyzed in fruit at 0 to 39 d after anthesis. Sucrose synthase, but not acid invertase, was found to be positively correlated with tomato fruit relative growth rate and with starch content in the pericarp tissue. A similar association between sucrose synthase activity and starch accumulation was also evident in the basal portion of the stem. Heat-shock treatments, which inhibited the increase in sucrose synthase activity at the beginning of the light period and had no effect on acid invertase activity, were used to examine the importance of sucrose synthase in relation to sucrose metabolism and starch synthesis. After the heat-shock treatment, concomitantly with the suppressed sucrose synthase activity relative to the controls, there was a reduction in sucrose cleavage and starch accumulation. These data substantiate the conclusion that, during the early phases of tomato fruit development, sucrose synthase rather than acid invertase is the dominant enzyme in metabolizing imported sucrose, which in turn plays a part in regulating the import of sucrose into the fruit.