1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1) To identify the genes and proteins that control carotenoid accumulation in melon and other fruits/vegetables;. 2)to genetically and functionally characterize them; and. 3)to isolate the favorable alleles in promoting high levels of Beta-carotene accumulation.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
1) To genetically test the association of the candidate genes with carotenoid accumulation in melon and other fruits;. 3)to transform candidate genes into plants to confirm their function roles in carotenoid accumulation;. 4)to analysis genetic variation to uncover the favorable alleles for breeding high Beta-carotene crops.
Carotenoids accumulate in high levels in many fruits and vegetables. Thus fruits and vegetables provide excellent experimental resources for deciphering the mechanisms underlying carotenoid biosynthesis and accumulation. We extracted RNA from several fruits and vegetables and generated RNA-seq libraries for identification of highly expressed genes that might be involved in carotenoid accumulation. We are in the process of analyzing RNA-Seq data to identify candidate genes that are differentially expressed between white and orange tissues and thus may be related to the carotenoid accumulation process. Through analysis of multiple samples from different plant species, we are hoping to identify conserved mechanisms that control high levels of carotenoid accumulation in plants.