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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Vorsa, Nicholi
item Polashock, James
item Cunningham, David
item Roderick, Robin

Submitted to: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/18/2004
Publication Date: 9/1/2005
Citation: Vorsa, N., Polashock, J.J., Cunningham, D., Roderick, R. 2005. Genetic inferences and breeding implications from analysis of cranberry germplasm anthocyainin profiles.. Journal of American Society for Horticultural Science 128:691-697.

Interpretive Summary: Flowering plants produce a diversity of colored pigments in leaves, fruits and other parts. One group of pigments called anthocyanins is responsible for most of the red color in various plants. These pigments are of interest because they can have important contributions to human nutrition. There are different types of anthocyanins that are distinguished by features such as the particular sugar attached. Cranberry fruit is high in anthocyanins, but the sugars attached limit usefulness when eaten by humans. The proportions of each of the six different anthocyanins found in cranberry were surveyed in over 250 different plants. Evidence for both significant qualitative and quantitative anthocyanin variation was noted across the plants sampled. It was also found that as the proportion of anthocyanins with certain sugars increased, others decreased in the same proportions. These data will be useful to breeders in developing a strategy to increase the levels of more beneficial anthocyanins in cultivated American cranberry.

Technical Abstract: A diversity of anthocyanins exists among angiosperm species. Studies indicate that various anthocyanins differ in antioxidant potential, their bioavailability, and stability during processing. The fruit of the American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait., is recognized as having six anthocyanins, composed largely of 3-O-galactosides and 3-O-arabinosides, and to lesser amount (' 6%), 3-O-glucosides of the aglycones cyanidin and peonidin. This study analyzed proportions of these six anthocyanins from over 250 accessions of a germplasm collection over harvest dates. Fruit samples from 78 selected accessions, based on the first year analysis, were also analyzed a second year. Principal component analysis identified general negative relationships between the proportions of cyanidin versus peonidin, arabinosides versus glucosides, and galactosides versus arabinosides/glucosides. These relationships were consistent across the two years. The majority of the variation in germplasm anthocyanin profiles reflected variation of cyanidin versus peonidin proportions, with cyanidin to peonidin ratios ranging from 3.6:1 to 0.5:1. Variation for glycosylation profiles was also evident, with galactoside proportions ranging from 64% to 75%, arabinoside proportions ranging from 20% to 33%, and glucoside proportions ranging from 3% to 9%. Evidence for both significant qualitative and quantitative genetic variation exists for the methoxylation of cyanidin to peonidin. Significant quantitative genetic variation is also apparent for glycosylation.

Last Modified: 07/25/2017
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