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Isolation and functional characterization of a lycopene beta-cyclase gene that controls fruit colour of papaya (Carica papaya L.).

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Devitt, L.C., Fanning, K., Dietzgen, R.G. and Holton, T.A. (2010) Isolation and functional characterization of a lycopene beta-cyclase gene that controls fruit colour of papaya (Carica papaya L.). Journal of Experimental Botany, 61 (1). pp. 33-39.

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erp284

Publisher URL: http://www.oxfordjournals.org/


The colour of papaya fruit flesh is determined largely by the presence of carotenoid pigments. Red-fleshed papaya fruit contain lycopene, whilst this pigment is absent from yellow-fleshed fruit. The conversion of lycopene (red) to beta-carotene (yellow) is catalysed by lycopene beta-cyclase. This present study describes the cloning and functional characterization of two different genes encoding lycopene beta-cyclases (lcy-beta1 and lcy-beta2) from red (Tainung) and yellow (Hybrid 1 B) papaya cultivars. A mutation in the lcy-beta2 gene, which inactivates enzyme activity, controls lycopene production in fruit and is responsible for the difference in carotenoid production between red and yellow-fleshed papaya fruit. The expression level of both lcy-beta1 and lcy-beta2 genes is similar and low in leaves, but lcy-beta2 expression increases markedly in ripe fruit. Isolation of the lcy-beta2 gene from papaya, that is preferentially expressed in fruit and is correlated with fruit colour, will facilitate marker-assisted breeding for fruit colour in papaya and should create possibilities for metabolic engineering of carotenoid production in papaya fruit to alter both colour and nutritional properties.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:QPIF
Additional Information:© The Author(s). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/uk/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This paper is available online free of all access charges (see <http://jxb.oxfordjournals.org/misc/terms.shtml for further details).
Keywords:Beta-carotene; colour; enzyme activity; enzymes; fruits; gene expression; genes; lycopene; mutants; mutations; pawpaws; Carica papaya.
Subjects:Science > Biology > Genetics
Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture > Culture of individual fruits or types of fruit
Live Archive:18 Jun 2010 06:00
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:48

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