Submitted to: International Association for Plant Tissue Culture & Biotechnology Congress
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/28/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Flavonoids are widely distributed secondary metabolites in plants. They have different roles throughout the plant kingdom such as photo reception, light screening, visual attraction, and health benefits for humans such as antioxidant, antithrombogenic, and antitumor activities. In citrus, flavonoids accumulate mainly as flavanone disaccharide glucosides that may affect the taste of fruits. Specifically, flavanone neohesperidosides, such as naringin, cause bitterness in fresh fruit and juice products. This bitter flavor decreases the acceptability of fresh fruit and juice products in commercial markets. The objective of this research is to manipulate the production of flavanone disaccharide glucosides mainly flavanone neohesperidosides in citrus using molecular genetics and transformation techniques. In initial steps to achieve our goal, cDNAs of the structural genes chalcone synthase and chalcone isomerase were isolated. Sense and antisense constructs of these cDNAs were used to transform grapefruit to suppress expression of the target gene or increase the non bitter flavonoid compounds. Transgenic plants obtained from each construct are being characterized for gene copy number and will be analyzed (or their flavonoid content using chromatographic techniques, and evaluated for production levels of flavanone neohesperidosides.