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To identify factors governing peel-color development in mandarins, we examined carotenoid content and composition and the expression of carotenoid-related genes during four stages of ripening (i.e., green, breaker, yellow and orange) in two varieties: 'Ora', which has orange fruit, and 'Shani', which has orange-reddish fruit. The two varieties had different carotenoid compositions and 'Shani' had a significantly higher level of total carotenoid pigments. 'Shani' was rich in the deep orange β-cryptoxanthin and the orange-reddish β-citraurin; whereas 'Ora' was rich in the orange violaxanthin. RNA-Seq analysis revealed significantly greater expression of the carotenoid-biosynthesis genes PSY, βLCY, βCHX and CCD4b, as well as MEP-pathway genes and several ethylene-biosynthesis and -signaling genes in 'Shani' fruit. In contrast, the expression levels of genes involved in the synthesis of α-branch carotenoids (i.e., εLCY and εCHX) and ZEP, which is involved in the formation of violaxanthin, were significantly higher in the 'Ora' fruit.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of agricultural and food chemistry
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