Submitted to: Plant Physiology
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: June 10, 2003
Publication Date: December 11, 2003
Citation: Bartley, G.E., Ishida, B.K. 2003. Zeta-carotene (acc#af195507) desaturase from tomato. Plant Physiology. Vol 121:1384 Interpretive Summary: Lycopene is the predominant carotenoid in ripe tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) fruit and imparts to the fruit a characteristic red color. The last step in lycopene biosynthesis is the conversion of zeta-carotene via neurosporene to lycopene through the action of zeta-carotene desaturase (ZDS), an enzyme that introduces double bonds at the 7 and 7' carbons, thus creating a chromophore of 11 conjugated double bonds and giving this molecule it's particular optical qualities. Lycopene has been implicated in the prevention of prostate cancer; therefore, interest has been growing in improving the lycopene content of various foods. The gene for this enzyme will help us to study and manipulate lycopene biosynthesis.
Technical Abstract: New cDNA sequencing projects have generated more than 38,000 ESTs from tomato. "Blast" searching of the database of ESTs (dbest) with the amino acid sequence of the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) ZDS revealed 5 ESTs from tomato. The sequence of these ESTs covers the entire coding region of the cDNA for ZDS from tomato. Among other things, this sequence will allow scientists to study the expression of this transcript, express the protein in E. coli, and perform in vitro evolution.