Metabolic and transcriptional elucidation of the carotenoid biosynthesis pathway in peel and flesh tissue of loquat fruit during on-tree development

BMC Plant Biology
Margarita HadjipieriGeorge A Manganaris


Carotenoids are the main colouring substances found in orange-fleshed loquat fruits. The aim of this study was to unravel the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway of loquat fruit (cv. 'Obusa') in peel and flesh tissue during distinct on-tree developmental stages through a targeted analytical and molecular approach. Substantial changes regarding colour parameters, both between peel and flesh and among the different developmental stages, were monitored, concomitant with a significant increment in carotenoid content. Key genes and individual compounds that are implicated in the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway were further dissected with the employment of molecular (RT-qPCR) and advanced analytical techniques (LC-MS). Results revealed significant differences in carotenoid composition between peel and flesh. Thirty-two carotenoids were found in the peel, while only eighteen carotenoids were identified in the flesh. Trans-lutein and trans-β-carotene were the major carotenoids in the peel; the content of the former decreased with the progress of ripening, while the latter registered a 7.2-fold increase. However, carotenoid profiling of loquat flesh indicated trans-β-cryptoxanthin, followed by trans-β-carotene and 5,8-epoxy-β-carotene to be...Continue Reading


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