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Hortic Res. 2015 Aug 26;2:15036. doi: 10.1038/hortres.2015.36. eCollection 2015.

Carotenoid metabolism and regulation in horticultural crops.

Author information

1
Plant Breeding and Genetics Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University , Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
2
College of Horticulture, Shenyang Agricultural University , Shenyang 110866, China.
3
Plant Breeding and Genetics Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University , Ithaca, NY 14853, USA ; Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health, USDA-ARS, Cornell University , Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.

Abstract

Carotenoids are a diverse group of pigments widely distributed in nature. The vivid yellow, orange, and red colors of many horticultural crops are attributed to the overaccumulation of carotenoids, which contribute to a critical agronomic trait for flowers and an important quality trait for fruits and vegetables. Not only do carotenoids give horticultural crops their visual appeal, they also enhance nutritional value and health benefits for humans. As a result, carotenoid research in horticultural crops has grown exponentially over the last decade. These investigations have advanced our fundamental understanding of carotenoid metabolism and regulation in plants. In this review, we provide an overview of carotenoid biosynthesis, degradation, and accumulation in horticultural crops and highlight recent achievements in our understanding of carotenoid metabolic regulation in vegetables, fruits, and flowers.

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