Expression profile of genes coding for carotenoid biosynthetic pathway during ripening and their association with accumulation of lycopene in tomato fruits
Fruit ripening process is associated with change in carotenoid profile and accumulation of lycopene in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). In this study, we quantified the 𝛽-carotene and lycopene content at green, breaker and red-ripe stages of fruit ripening in eight tomato genotypes by using high-performance liquid chromatography. Among the genotypes, lycopene content was found highest in Pusa Rohini and lowest in VRT-32-1. To gain further insight into the regulation of lycopene biosynthesis and accumulation during fruit ripening, expression analysis of nine carotenoid pathway-related genes was carried out in the fruits of high lycopene genotype—Pusa Rohini. We found that expression of phytoene synthase and 𝛽-carotene hydroxylase-1 was four and thirty-fold higher, respectively, at breaker stage as compared to red-ripe stage of fruit ripening. Changes in the expression level of these genes were associated with a 40% increase in lycopene content at red-ripe stage as compared with breaker stage. Thus, the results from our study suggest the role of specific carotenoid pathway-related genes in accumulation of high lycopene during the fruit ripening processes.
Volume 101, 2022
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