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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The objectives of this cooperative research project are 1) to investigate the genetic elements that control carotenoid and selenium metabolisms in plants; and 2) to develop food crops with enhanced nutritional quality.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The approaches will include: 1) to use molecular, biochemical, and genetic tools to isolate and characterize novel genes and to examine metabolites for nutritional improvement; 2) to employ genomic and proteomic approaches to investigate global expression changes associated with altered nutritional characteristics and identify novel genes/proteins involved in the biosynthesis and accumulation of carotenoids and selenium compounds in plants; and 3) to use plant biotechnology and breeding approaches to alter the content and/or composition of these compounds in crops.

3. Progress Report:
To elucidate the network that regulates a gene that controls high carotenoid accumulation, the Or gene, we performed coimmunoprecipitation (Co-IP) experiments which looks for proteins interacting with Or, and identified some candidates as potential OR-interacting proteins. We carried out complimentary biochemical assays and confirmed that OR interacted with the phytoene synthase enzyme, which controls a limiting step in the carotenoid synthesis pathway. We show that OR controls carotenoid accumulation by increasing phytoene synthase activity through regulating its protein stability.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 2/23/2016
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