Alteration of Anthocyanin Glycosylation in Cranberry Through Interspecific Hybridization

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Philip E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension, Rutgers University, 125A Lake Oswego Road, Chatsworth, NJ 08019
  • | 2 USDA-ARS Fruit Lab, 125A Lake Oswego Road, Chatsworth, NJ 08019

The flavonoids of american cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) are documented to be beneficial for human health. Among their benefits is a high antioxidant potential, with anthocyanin glycosides being the main contributors. Flavonoid glucose conjugates are reported to be more bioavailable than those with other sugar conjugates. The anthocyanin glycosides of V. macrocarpon fruit are mainly galactosides and arabinosides of the aglycones, cyanidin and peonidin, with less than 8% glucosides. In contrast, the fruit anthocyanins of another cranberry species, V. oxycoccus L. were found to be largely glucosides of cyanidin and peonidin. Interspecific hybrids between these two species were intermediate to the parental species in the proportion of fruit anthocyanin glucosides. About half the progeny (1:1 segregation) in a backcross population (to V. macrocarpon) maintained the relatively high anthocyanin glucoside ratio. In this study, we demonstrate the genetic manipulation of anthocyanin glycosylation in cranberry using interspecific hybridization, resulting in dramatically increased glucose-conjugated anthocyanins.

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