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Lucianne Braga Oliveira Vilarinho, Derly Jose Henriques da Silva, Ann Greene, Kara Denee Salazar, Cristiane Alves, Molly Eveleth, Ben Nichols, Sana Tehseen, Joseph Kalil Khoury Jr., Jodie V. Johnson, Steven A. Sargent and Bala Rathinasabapathi

peppers.” Colored sweet peppers are recognized for their visual appeal, sweet flavor, antioxidant activities, nutritive carotenoids, and anti-inflammatory compounds ( Park et al., 2012 ; Sancho et al., 2002 ; Sun et al., 2007 ). We have initiated a

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Andrew Schofield* and Gopinadhan Paliyath

The accumulation of carotenoids such as lycopene and beta-carotene greatly influences the quality of ripe tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) fruit because cellular levels of these compounds determine the intensity of red color. As well, lycopene has anti-cancer properties and beta-carotene is a Vitamin A precursor. Recent work has demonstrated phytochrome regulation of the carotenoid pathway but the mechanism is not completely understood. This work investigates phytochrome regulation of 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase (DXS) and phytoene synthase (PSY), two key enzymes of carotenogenesis. A simple procedure for the assay of PSY from crude pericarp extracts was developed and mRNA levels of DXS and PSY1 genes were measured by relative RT-PCR. Discs from mature green tomatoes were ripened in total darkness, or in darkness interrupted by brief daily treatments of red light, or red light followed by far red light. After ten days of incubation, lycopene levels of red light-treated discs had reached ≈12 mg/100 g fresh weight; nearly a 50% increase over discs ripened in total darkness. This increase was not observed in discs treated with red light followed by far red light, demonstrating the red/far red reversibility (and thus phytochrome control) of carotenoid accumulation. Similar patterns of phytochrome control are observed for PSY activity but not for DXS and PSY1 transcript levels, suggesting the mechanism of control may be at the level of post-translational modification of PSY. Potential applications of this regulation of carotenoid accumulation will be discussed.

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Dean A. Kopsell, Scott McElroy, Carl Sams and David Kopsell

Vegetable crops can be significant sources of nutritionally important dietary carotenoids and Brassica vegetables are sources that also exhibit antioxidant and anticarcinogenic activity. The family Brassicaceae contains a diverse group of plant species commercially important in many parts of the world. The six economically important Brassica species are closely related genetically. Three diploid species (B. nigra, B. rapa, and B. oleracea) are the natural progenitors of the allotetraploid species (B. juncea, B. napus, and B. carinata). The objective of this study was to characterize the accumulation of important dietary carotenoid pigments among the genetically related Brassica species. The HPLC quantification revealed significant differences in carotenoid and chlorophyll pigment accumulation among the Brassica species. Brassica nigra accumulated the highest concentrations of lutein, 5,6-epoxy lutein, violaxanthin, and neoxanthin. The highest concentrations of beta-carotene and total chlorophyll were found in B. juncea. Brassica rapa accumulated the highest concentrations of zeaxanthin and antheraxanthin. For each of the pigments analyzed, the diploid Brassica species accumulated higher concentrations, on average, than the amphidiploid species. Brassicas convey unique health attributes when consumed in the diet. Identification of genetic relationships among the Brassica species would be beneficial information for improvement programs designed to increase carotenoid values.

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Ritu Dhir, Richard L. Harkess and Guihong Bi

, 1980 ) and light-harvesting pigments, chlorophylls, and carotenoids ( Morales et al., 1990 , 1994 ). Although considerable research has been conducted on Fe nutrition and heat stress, the role of Fe and heat stress in bleaching of ivy geranium is

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Desire Djidonou, Amarat H. Simonne, Karen E. Koch, Jeffrey K. Brecht and Xin Zhao

, and carotenoids, particularly lycopene ( Burri et al., 2009 ; Jones et al., 2003 ). Consumption of foods containing these antioxidant compounds has been suggested to provide some level of protection against harmful free radicals and thus reduce risk

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John P. Navazio and Philipp W. Simon

Three orange-mesocarp derivatives of the xishuangbannan cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. var. xishuangbannanesis Qi et Yuan), P100, P101, and P104; and NPI (P105), an unrelated cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) reported to have orange flesh, were selected as parents for a diallel experiment to evaluate inheritance of orange cucumber mesocarp pigment over 3 years. Visual color intensity and carotenoid content were closely related. A preponderance of additive genetic effects for cucumber mesocarp pigmentation was observed in grade size 2 fruit (immature fruit used for pickling). Both additive and nonadditive genetic effects were important in grade size 4 fruit (mature). Years and yea× genotype interactions were highly significant for pigmentation of size 2 fruit, indicating the importance of environment on the expression of pigmentation in this size class. In contrast, color development was stable among years for size 4 fruit. P104 exhibited high general combining ability (GCA) estimates for size 4 fruit pigmentation across years, while P101 had high GCA estimates for size 2 fruit. The diallel analysis illustrated high fruit carotene content of parents per se. However, most hybrid combinations of the diallel reduced carotenoid content relative to parents, indicating both dominance for low carotenoid content for both fruit sizes and lack of genetic complementation among parents to enhance fruit color. Genetic control of pigmentation in size 2 fruit appeared to be independent of that for size 4 fruit.

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Celina Gómez and Juan Jiménez

et al., 2007 ; Paz et al., 2019 ; Ryder, 1999 ). In addition to anthocyanins, red leaves have been correlated with a higher accumulation of other secondary metabolites such as essential oils, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds with different

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G.K. Jayaprakasha, Clark Wilson and Bhimanagouda S. Patil

Consumption of fruits and vegetables has been associated with reduced risk of disease, such as neurodegenerative disorders and certain forms of cancer, and aging. Antioxidants prevent the damage to macromolecules and cells by interfering with the free radicals. Several natural compounds that posses antioxidant activity have been reported from plant sources and are commercially promoted as nutraceuticals. Citrus fruits contain certain bioactive compounds such as phenolics, flavonoids, limonoids, carotenoids, and ascorbic acid. In this context, navel oranges were freeze-dried and extracted with five different solvents, such as hexane, ethyl acetate, acetone, methanol, and 8 methanol: 2 water. The extracts were dried under vacuum and screened for their radical scavenging activity using the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl method at 250, 500, and 1000 ppm. The methanol: water and methanol extracts of navel orange were found to be maximum (92.9%) and minimum (63.89%) radical scavenging activity at 1000 ppm. Furthermore, the antioxidant capacity of all extracts was assayed through the phosphomolybdenum method and expressed as equivalent to ascorbic acid (μmol/g of the extract). The order of antioxidant capacity for navel orange extracts was found to be ethyl acetate > acetone > methanol: water > methanol > hexane. It seems that the antioxidant capacity of the extracts is in accordance with the amount of phenolics/lycopene present in each fraction and may provide a good source of antioxidants. This project is based upon work supported by the USDA–CSREES under Agreement USDA IFAFS #2001-52102-02294 and USDA #2005-34402-14401 “Designing Foods for Health” through the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center.

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Ritu Dhir, Richard L. Harkess and Guihong Bi

geranium ‘Beach’ and ‘Butterfly’. Chlorophyll, carotenoid, and pheophytins. There were interactive effects of cultivar and temperature on Chl b and total Chl ( Table 2 ). ‘Beach’ had more Chl b and total Chl at ambient air temperature than ‘Butterfly

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Dean A. Kopsell, David E. Kopsell and Joanne Curran-Celentano

Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is a popular culinary herbal crop grown for fresh or dry leaf, essential oil, and seed markets. Recently, basil was shown to rank highest among spices and herbal crops for xanthophyll carotenoids, which are associated with decreased risks of cancer and age-related eye diseases. The research goal for the current study was to characterize the concentrations of nutritionally important carotenoid pigments in popular varieties of basil. Eight cultivars of sweet basil (`Genovese', `Italian Large Leaf', `Nufar', `Red Rubin', `Osmin Purple', `Spicy Bush', `Cinnamon', and `Sweet Thai') were grown in both field and greenhouse environments and evaluated for plant pigments using HPLC methodology. Environmental and cultivar differences were observed for all of the pigments analyzed. `Sweet Thai' accumulated the highest concentrations of lutein, zeaxanthin, and β-carotene carotenoids in the field, while `Osmin Purple' accumulated the highest carotenoid concentrations in the greenhouse. Comparing the two environments, cultivar levels for carotenoid and chlorophyll pigments were higher in the field environment when expressed on both a fresh and dry weight basis. Exceptions were found only for the purple leaf basils (`Osmin Purple' and `Red Rubin'). Positive correlations existed between carotenoid and chlorophyll pigments in both environments. This study demonstrates sweet basil accumulates high levels of nutritionally important carotenoids in both field and greenhouse environments.