Submitted to: Progress in Cucurbit Genetics and Breeding Research
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/18/2004
Publication Date: 7/14/2004
Citation: Tadmor, Y., Katzir, N., King, S., Levi, A., Davis, A.R., Hirschberg, J. 2004. Fruit coloration in watermelon - lessons from the tomato. Progress in Cucurbit Genetics and Breeding Research. A. Lebeda and H.S. Paris (Eds.). p. 181-185.
Technical Abstract: The characteristic red pigmentation of watermelon and tomato fruits is determined by accumulation of the carotenoid pigment lycopene and this phenotype is polyphyletic. Since several carotenoids are known to have health promoting activities, and watermelon can be a significant source of lycopene and other carotenoids, it is important to understand the genetic basis of fruit-specific carotenoid biosynthesis. In contrast to tomato, very little is known about the regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis during fruit development in watermelon. In this research we analyzed carotenoids in watermelon fruits of various flesh colors and compared their carotenoid patterns to known tomato fruit color mutants. we detected mutations in watermelon that seem orthologous to the r, t, og and B tomato mutations. By comparing the fruit carotenoid biosynthetic pathways of two unrelated species we contribute to the understanding of the evolution of fruit development processes and carotenogenesis.