Improvement of root vegetables for nutritional quality: case of carotenoids in carrot
Synthesized by plants, carotenoids are key pigments as photoprotective compounds in chlorophyll organs and help attract pollinators and dispersers for non-chlorophyll organs such as flowers and fruits. However, in underground organs, such as roots or tubers, their role is not clearly determined. Carotenoids also represent an important class of human health metabolites as precursors of vitamin A. The carrot root, an important vegetable consumed worldwide, contains high concentrations of carotenoids, and therefore represents an interesting model to understand the accumulation in these pigments. Several approaches were combined to understand the role of carotenoid pathway genes: plant development, evolution genetics, association genetics and impact of environmental factors. Through these various studies, several genes of the carotenoid pathway are shown to be associated with the level of carotenoid content. The findings are useful for breeding for improved varieties but also for growing of quality products. However, more studies are needed to identify the respective levels of regulation of biosynthesis genes in carrot. Regulation factors outside of the pathway still need to be identified.
Geoffriau, E., Chevalier, W., Perrin, F., Dubois-Laurent, C., Huet, S., Hamama, L. and Peltier, D. (2019). Improvement of root vegetables for nutritional quality: case of carotenoids in carrot. Acta Hortic. 1251, 239-244
Daucus carota L., genetic control, environment effect, quality, root, health compounds