Enrichment of tomato fruit with health-promoting anthocyanins by expression of select transcription factors

E. Butelli, L. Titta, M. Giorgio, H.P. Mock, A. Matros, S. Peterek, E.G.W.M. Schijlen, R.D. Hall, A.G. Bovy, J. Luo, C. Martin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    721 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Dietary consumption of anthocyanins, a class of pigments produced by higher plants, has been associated with protection against a broad range of human diseases. However, anthocyanin levels in the most commonly eaten fruits and vegetables may be inadequate to confer optimal benefits. When we expressed two transcription factors from snapdragon in tomato, the fruit of the plants accumulated anthocyanins at levels substantially higher than previously reported for efforts to engineer anthocyanin accumulation in tomato and at concentrations comparable to the anthocyanin levels found in blackberries and blueberries. Expression of the two transgenes enhanced the hydrophilic antioxidant capacity of tomato fruit threefold and resulted in fruit with intense purple coloration in both peel and flesh. In a pilot test, cancer-susceptible Trp53-/- mice fed a diet supplemented with the high-anthocyanin tomatoes showed a significant extension of life s
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1301-1308
    JournalNature Biotechnology
    Volume26
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Keywords

    • antioxidant capacity
    • pigmentation
    • gene
    • cyanidin
    • mice
    • biosynthesis
    • antirrhinum
    • ischemia
    • plasma
    • heart

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