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  • Author or Editor: Robert Durst x
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Cultivated tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) produce anthocyanins in vegetative tissues and certain flavonols can be found in the fruit. Some related wild species do produce anthocyanins in the fruit, and this trait has been transferred into cultivated tomato. Fruit with the genes Abg, Aft, and atv exhibit varying degrees of anthocyanin production in the epidermis, but not in the fruit pericarp. Fruit with these alleles in various combinations were analyzed to characterize the anthocyanidin profile, moieties, and total anthocyanin content. In general, combining atv with either Aft or Abg substantially increased anthocyanin production in the fruit. Over 23 different anthocyanins were detected, petunidin-3-(p-coumaryl)-rutinoside-5-glucoside being predominant. The highest level of anthocyanin expression was observed in small fruit with the genotype Abg- atvatv and AftAft atvatv, well in excess of 100 mg/100 g fresh weight of epidermis and subepidermis depending on the size of the fruit. Nonanthocyanin flavonoids were also upregulated in proportion to the anthocyanin concentration. The anthocyanin genes were also combined with genes affecting carotenoid composition and content. Reduced carotenoid content conditioned by the alleles B (Beta) and r (yellow flesh) was associated with lower total anthocyanins, an unexpected observation because the carotenoid and anthocyanin pathways are thought to be independent. The level of anthocyanin did not affect carotenoid profiles or amounts.

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