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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Crop Improvement and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #326733

Research Project: Molecular Tools for Improved Crop Biotechnology

Location: Crop Improvement and Genetics Research

Title: Purple is the new Orange

item DASGUPTA, KASTURI - University Of California
item SHAO, MIN - University Of California
item Thomson, James - Jim

Submitted to: Citrograph
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/10/2016
Publication Date: 6/1/2016
Citation: Dasgupta, K., Shao, M., Thomson, J.G. 2016. Purple is the new Orange. Citrograph. 7(3):54-58.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Blood orange and Cara cara-like citrus varieties with purple or red fruit color, increased antioxidants and modified flavor could be the next generation of cultivars produced via genetic engineering. These varieties are being developed by enhancing the presence of anthocyanin and lycopene pigments, and promoting their presence in the fruit using components from citrus genes. Activation of genes like MybA has been shown to turn on the anthocyanin production pathway in many species, including citrus. On the other hand, lycopene production in most plants requires activation of multiple genes, such as those encoding the enzymes Phytoene Synthase (PSY) and Deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate Synthase (DSX), and reduction in the activity of Lycopene Cyclase (LCY). With the required genes in hand, experiments to test and characterize anthocyanin and lycopene production in tomato and citrus fruit are underway.