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J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Apr 20;53(8):3174-81.

Changes in carotenoid and ascorbic acid contents in fruits of different tomato genotypes related to the depletion of UV-B radiation.

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Dipartimento di Chimica e Biotecnologie Agrarie, Università di Pisa, via del Borghetto 80, 56100 Pisa, Italy.


The aim of the present study was to investigate if the depletion of UV-B radiation affected the most representative carotenoids as well as the ascorbic acid content in tomato fruits, harvested at both breaker and firm red stages. To do this, three tomato genotypes, DRW 5981, HP 1, and Esperanza, were grown inside a greenhouse either covered with polyethylene transparent to UV-B or depleted of UV-B by a special covering film. The antioxidant properties of the fruits were evaluated on the water-insoluble fractions according to the ABTS method. UV-B effect on antioxidant activity was negligible in DRW and HP 1 genotypes, whereas it was detrimental in Esperanza at both ripening stages. This genotype seems to have a negligible capability of accumulating carotenoids and a great susceptibility to detrimental effects of UV-B; conversely, the DRW genotype shows high carotenoid levels under sunlight conditions and a further promotion by UV-B. On the other hand, the HP 1 mutant displays an intermediate behavior and represents the only genotype favored by UV-B with respect to ascorbic acid accumulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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