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Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Dec 8;20(24). pii: E6194. doi: 10.3390/ijms20246194.

Citrus Taste Modification Potentials by Genetic Engineering.

Li LJ1,2,3, Tan WS1, Li WJ1, Zhu YB1,2,3, Cheng YS4,5, Ni H1,2,3.

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College of Food and Biological Engineering, Jimei University, Xiamen 361021, China.
Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Enzyme Engineering, Xiamen 361021, China.
Research Center of Food Biotechnology of Xiamen City, Xiamen 361021, China.
Department of Life Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan.
Institute of Plant Biology, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan.


Citrus fruits are mainly consumed as fresh fruit and processed juice products. They serve as nutritional and a tasty diet in our daily life. However, the formidable bitterness and delayed bitterness significantly impact the citrus industry attributable to the two major bitter compounds naringin and limonin. The extremely sour and acidic also negatively affects the sensory quality of citrus products. Citrus breeding programs have developed different strategies to improve citrus quality and a wealth of studies have aimed to uncover the genetic and biochemical basis of citrus flavor. In this minireview, we outline the major genes characterized to be involved in pathways shaping the sweet, bitter, or sour taste in citrus, and discuss briefly about the possible approaches to modify citrus taste by genetic engineering.


Citrus; bitter; genetic modification; metabolism; sour; sweet; taste

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