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Sci Rep. 2017 Jun 26;7(1):4216. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-04004-0.

Genome-wide identification and characterization of genes involved in carotenoid metabolic in three stages of grapevine fruit development.

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College of Horticulture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Tongwei Road 6, Nanjing, 210095, P.R. China.
Grape and Wine Research Institute, Guangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Daxuedong Road 174, Nanning, 530007, P.R. China.
Shandong Aacademy of Grape, Gongyenan Road 103, Jinan, 250110, P.R. China.
College of Horticulture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Tongwei Road 6, Nanjing, 210095, P.R. China.


Carotenoids not only play indispensable roles in plant growth and development but also enhance nutritional value and health benefits for humans. In this study, total carotenoids progressively decreased during fruit ripening. Fifty-four genes involving in mevalonate (MVA), 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP), carotenoid biosynthesis and catabolism pathway were identified. The expression levels of most of the carotenoid metabolism related genes kept changing during fruit ripening generating a metabolic flux toward carotenoid synthesis. Down regulation of VvDXS, VvDXR, VvGGPPS and VvPSY and a dramatic increase in the transcription levels of VvCCD might be responsible for the reduction of carotenoids content. The visible correlation between carotenoid content and gene expression profiles suggested that transcriptional regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis pathway genes is a key mechanism of carotenoid accumulation. In addition, the decline of carotenoids was also accompanied with the reduction of chlorophyll content. The reduction of chlorophyll content might be due to the obstruction in chlorophyll synthesis and acceleration of chlorophyll degradation. These results will be helpful for better understanding of carotenoid biosynthesis in grapevine fruit and contribute to the development of conventional and transgenic grapevine cultivars for further enrichment of carotenoid content.

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