Inferring the Genetic Determinants of Fruit Colors in Tomato by Carotenoid Profiling.
Sommaire de l'article
Carotenoids are essential for plant and animal nutrition, and are important factors in the variation of pigmentation in fruits, leaves, and flowers. Tomato is a model crop for studying the biology and biotechnology of fleshy fruits, particularly for understanding carotenoid biosynthesis. In commercial tomato cultivars and germplasms, visual phenotyping of the colors of ripe fruits can be done easily. However, subsequent analysis of metabolic profiling is necessary for hypothesizing genetic factors prior to performing time-consuming genetic analysis. We used high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), employing a C30 reverse-phase column, to efficiently resolve nine carotenoids and isomers of several carotenoids in yellow, orange, and red colored ripe tomatoes. High content of lycopene was detected in red tomatoes. The orange tomatoes contained three dominant carotenoids, namely δ-carotene, β-carotene, and prolycopene. The yellow tomatoes showed low levels of carotenoids compared to red or orange tomatoes. Based on the HPLC profiles, genes responsible for overproducing δ-carotene and prolycopene were described as lycopene ε-cyclase and carotenoid isomerase, respectively. Subsequent genetic analysis using DNA markers for segregating population and germplasms were conducted to confirm the hypothesis. This study establishes the usefulness of metabolic profiling for inferring the genetic determinants of fruit color.