Carotene Hydroxylase Activity Determines the Levels of Both α-Carotene and Total Carotenoids in Orange Carrots

TitreCarotene Hydroxylase Activity Determines the Levels of Both α-Carotene and Total Carotenoids in Orange Carrots
Type de publicationArticle de revue
AuteurArango, Jacobo, Jourdan, Matthieu, Geoffriau, Emmanuel , Beyer, Peter, Welsch, Ralf
EditeurAmerican Society of Plant Biologists
TypeArticle scientifique dans une revue à comité de lecture
Pagination2223 - 2233
Titre de la revueThe Plant Cell Online
Résumé en anglais

The typically intense carotenoid accumulation in cultivated orange-rooted carrots (Daucus carota) is determined by a high protein abundance of the rate-limiting enzyme for carotenoid biosynthesis, phytoene synthase (PSY), as compared with white-rooted cultivars. However, in contrast to other carotenoid accumulating systems, orange carrots are characterized by unusually high levels of α-carotene in addition to β-carotene. We found similarly increased α-carotene levels in leaves of orange carrots compared with white-rooted cultivars. This has also been observed in the Arabidopsis thaliana lut5 mutant carrying a defective carotene hydroxylase CYP97A3 gene. In fact, overexpression of CYP97A3 in orange carrots restored leaf carotenoid patterns almost to those found in white-rooted cultivars and strongly reduced α-carotene levels in the roots. Unexpectedly, this was accompanied by a 30 to 50% reduction in total root carotenoids and correlated with reduced PSY protein levels while PSY expression was unchanged. This suggests a negative feedback emerging from carotenoid metabolites determining PSY protein levels and, thus, total carotenoid flux. Furthermore, we identified a deficient CYP97A3 allele containing a frame-shift insertion in orange carrots. Association mapping analysis using a large carrot population revealed a significant association of this polymorphism with both α-carotene content and the α-/β-carotene ratio and explained a large proportion of the observed variation in carrots.

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