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Beiquan Mou

There is increasing medical evidence for the health benefits derived from dietary intake of carotenoid antioxidants, such as β-carotene and lutein. Enhancing the nutritional levels of vegetables would improve the nutrient intake without requiring an increase in consumption. A breeding program to improve the nutritional quality of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) must start with an assessment of the existing genetic variation. To assess the genetic variability in carotenoid contents, 52 genotypes including crisphead, leaf, romaine, butterhead, primitive, Latin, and stem lettuces, and wild species were planted in the field in Salinas, Calif., in the Summer and Fall of 2003 with four replications. Duplicate samples from each plot were analyzed for chlorophyll (a and b), β-carotene, and lutein concentrations by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Wild accessions (L. serriola L., L. saligna L., L. virosa L., and primitive form) had higher β-carotene and lutein concentrations than cultivated lettuces, mainly due to the lower moisture content of wild lettuces. Among major types of cultivated lettuce, carotenoid concentration followed the order of: green leaf or romaine > red leaf > butterhead > crisphead. There was significant genetic variation in carotenoid concentration within each of these lettuce types. Crisphead lettuce accumulated more lutein than β-carotene, while other lettuce types had more β-carotene than lutein. Carotenoid concentration was higher in summer than in the fall, but was not affected by the position of the plant on the raised bed. Beta-carotene and lutein concentrations were highly correlated, suggesting that their levels could be enhanced simultaneously. Beta-carotene and lutein concentrations were both highly correlated with chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and total chlorophyll concentrations, suggesting that carotenoid content could be selected indirectly through chlorophyll or color measurement. These results suggest that genetic improvement of carotenoid levels in lettuce is feasible.

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Joshua R. Hyman, Jessica Gaus, and Majid R. Foolad

Lycopene is the red pigment and a major carotenoid in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) fruit. It is a potent natural antioxidant, and the focus of many tomato genetics and breeding programs. Crop improvement for increased fruit lycopene content requires a rapid and accurate method of lycopene quantification. Among the various available techniques, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) can be accurate, however, it is laborious and requires skilled labor and the use of highly toxic solvents. Similarly, spectrophotometric methods, although easier than HPLC, also require time-consuming extractions and may not be as accurate as HPLC, as they often overestimate fruit lycopene content. Colorimetric estimation of fruit lycopene using chromaticity values has been proposed as an alternative rapid method. Previous studies that examined the utility of this technique, however, were confined to the evaluation of only one or few cultivars and, therefore, lacked broad applicability. The purpose of the present study was to examine the utility of chromaticity values for estimating lycopene and β-carotene contents in tomato across diverse genetic backgrounds. Measurements of the chromaticity values (L*, a*, b*, C*, h*) were taken on whole fruit and purée of 24 tomato genotypes and were compared with HPLC measurements of fruit lycopene and β-carotene. Examination of different regression models indicated that a model based on the transformed value a*4 from purée measurements explained up to 94.5% of the total variation in fruit lycopene content as measured by HPLC. When this model was applied to a second set of fruit harvested at a later date from the same 24 genotypes, it explained more than 90% of the total variation in lycopene, suggesting its reliability. The best estimation for β-carotene content was obtained by using the b* chromaticity value from whole fruit measurements or the transformed a*2 value from purée measurements. Neither model, however, could explain more than 55% of the variation in β-carotene content, suggesting that chromaticity values may not be appropriate for estimating tomato β-carotene content. The overall results indicated that fruit lycopene content could be measured simply and rather accurately across a wide range of tomato genotypes using chromaticity values taken on fruit purée.

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Kathleen G. Haynes, Lincoln Zotarelli, Christian T. Christensen, and Stephanie Walker

-day adaptation to the United States ( Haynes, 1972 , 2008 ), hereinafter referred to as phu-stn. High levels of carotenoids have been reported in the long-day adapted phu-stn population ( Lu et al., 2001 ). Carotenoids may protect against a variety of chronic

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Jane E. Lancaster, Carolyn E. Lister, Peter F. Reay, and Christopher M. Triggs

The color of fruits and vegetables results from the presence of chlorophyll, carotenoid, and anthocyanin pigments. Instrumental measurements of color are used routinely in describing processes of changing color, such as fruit ripening. The applicability of using skin color measurements to predict changes in pigment composition was investigated using a wide range of fruit and vegetables. Skin color was measured using a Hunter Colorlab and represented as the coordinates X, Y, Z, L*, a*, b*, chroma (C*), and hue angle (ho). Identical skin samples were extracted and analyzed for chlorophyll, carotenoid, and anthocyanin concentration. Sets of pairwise scatter plots were generated for each set of color variables and for the chlorophyll, anthocyanin, and carotenoid pigments. There were linear relationships between ho and anthocyanin concentration and between L* and log [chlorophyll concentration]. Multiple regressions for each pigment variable and sets of color variables also were calculated. However, there was no unique linear combination of pigments that gave rise to a unique point in the color space. Conversely, a given set of coordinates in the color space can be accounted for by many combinations of pigments. Therefore, a given color measurement cannot be described in terms of a unique combination of pigments. Caution is urged in interpreting tristimulus color coordinates in terms of a simple change in pigment composition without prior knowledge of the pigment composition within the fruits and vegetables. The surface topography of fruits and vegetables may be of considerable significance in measuring color.

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Peter M. Hanson, Ray-yu Yang, Jane Wu, Jen-tzu Chen, Dolores Ledesma, Samson C.S. Tsou, and Tung-Ching Lee

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is among the most widely consumed vegetables worldwide and an important source of certain antioxidants (AO) including lycopene, β-carotene, and vitamin C. Improvement of tomato for content of AO and overall antioxidant activity (AOA) could potentially benefit human health in many countries. We evaluated 50 L. esculentum and three L. pimpinellifolium (L.) Mill. entries for contents of lycopene, β-carotene, ascorbic acid, total phenolics, and two assays for antioxidant activity [anti-radical power (ARP) and inhibition of lipid peroxidation (ILP)] for 2 years during the same period in south Taiwan. We detected high levels of genetic diversity for the AO and AOA measured in this study. Group means of the L. pimpinellifolium entries were significantly higher than L. esculentum group means for ARP, ILP, lycopene, ascorbic acid, phenolics, and soluble solids concentration, suggesting that introgression of alleles from L. pimpinellifolium may have potential to improve cultivated tomato for these traits. Ranking of entries for ILP and ARP were consistent between years, particularly for those entries with the highest means and these assays could be adopted by tomato breeders. Results from ILP and ARP assays were highly correlated (r = 0.82**) and it would be unnecessary to use both assays for tomato. Lycopene, β-carotene, ascorbic acid, soluble solids, and total phenolics were all positively correlated with ARP. Among AO, total phenolics content was most closely associated with ARP (r = 0.90**) and ILP (r = 0.83**); this suggests that phenolics make a major contribution to AOA in tomato fruit. Fruit size was negatively correlated with ARP (r = -0.74**) and ILP (r = -0.71**), indicating that combining large fruit size and high AOA will be challenging.

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Kathleen G. Haynes

Although potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tuber yellow flesh per se is known to be controlled by a single gene, the intensity of yellow flesh varies widely in Solanum L. species. Many diploid species have very intense yellow flesh, as compared to the commercial tetraploid yellow-flesh cultivar `Yukon Gold'. Inheritance of yellow-flesh intensity at the diploid level was investigated in a hybrid population of S. phureja ssp. phureja (Juz. & Buk.)-S. stenotomum ssp. stenotomum (Juz. & Buk.) (PHU-STN). Six randomly chosen male parents were crossed to five randomly chosen female parents in a Design II mating scheme. In 1993, ≈12 progeny (clones) from each of the 30 families were planted in a randomized complete block design with two replications in Presque Isle, Maine, and evaluated for tuber yellow-flesh intensity as measured by a reflectance colorimeter. Twenty-five tubers from each plot were scored using the YI E-313 yellow intensity scale. An average YI E-313 score was obtained for each plot. Narrow-sense heritability on a plot mean basis was estimated as 0.99 with a SE of 0.65 to 0.72. There were significant differences among clones within a family. Results suggest that rapid progress can be made in breeding for intense yellow flesh in this diploid population. Clones from this population that produce 2n gametes represent an important source of germplasm for enhancing the intensity of the yellow-flesh trait in tetraploid potatoes.

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R.J. Griesbach, F. Meyer, and H. Koopowitz

Embryo rescue was successfully applied to develop hybrids between Ornithogalum dubium Houtt. (short inflorescence with orange flowers) and O. thyrsoides Jacq. (tall inflorescences with white flowers]. Meiosis in these hybrids showed abnormalities such as univalents, laggards, and bridges. The F, hybrids were partially fertile, and F2 and BC1 progeny were produced. The backcross hybrids segregated for flower color and, inflorescence traits and introgressed seedlings with orange pigmented flowers on tall inflorescences were obtained in the population.

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Kathleen G. Haynes, William E. Potts, Jesse L. Chittams, and Diane L. Fleck

For the yellow-flesh fresh market, potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) varieties with intense yellow flesh are desired. Twenty-five yellow-flesh clones, including 24 U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) selections and the check variety `Yukon Gold', were evaluated for tuber yellow-flesh color, as measured by a reflectance colorimeter, and for individual tuber weight in replicated field trials in Presque Isle, Maine, in 1991 and 1992. There were significant differences among clones for yellow-flesh intensity. Yellow-flesh intensity in two USDA selections was significantly less than in `Yukon Gold'. In four USDA selections, yellow-flesh intensity was significantly greater than in `Yukon Gold'. In general, there was an inverse relationship between tuber weight and yellow-flesh intensity. Subsamples of tubers whose weight fell between the 10 to 90, 25 to 75, 35 to 65, and 40 to 60 percentile were compared to the full sample. There was good agreement between the 10 to 90 and 25 to 75 percentile subsample and the full sample regarding the average yellow-flesh intensity and in the consistency of pairwise comparisons between individual selections and `Yukon Gold'. For determining yellow-flesh intensity, the 25 to 75 percentile subsample was as informative as the full sample.

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M. Radi, M. Mahrouz, A. Jaouad, M. Tacchini, S. Aubert, M. Hugues, and M.J. Amiot

Phenolic composition and susceptibility to browning were determined for nine apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) cultivars. Chlorogenic and neochlorogenic acids, (+)-catechin and (-)-epicatechin, and rutin (or quercetin-3-rutinoside) were the major phenolic compounds in apricots. In addition to these compounds, other quercetin-3-glycosides and procyanidins have been detected. Chlorogenic acid content decreased rapidly during enzymatic browning, but the susceptibility to browning seemed to be more strongly correlated with the initial amount of flavan-3-ols (defined as catechin monomers and procyanidins). As chlorogenic acid is certainly the best substrate for polyphenol oxidase, the development of brown pigments depended mainly on the flavan-3-ol content.