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In order to gain further insight into the partly-characterized carotenoid biosynthetic pathway in corn (Zea mays L.), we cloned cDNAs encoding the enzymes carotenoid isomerase (CRTISO) and β-carotene hydroxylase (BCH) using endosperm mRNA isolated from inbred line B73. For both enzymes, two distinct cDNAs were identified mapping to different chromosomes.(More)
Malnutrition is a prevalent and entrenched global socioeconomic challenge that reflects the combined impact of poverty, poor access to food, inefficient food distribution infrastructure, and an over-reliance on subsistence mono-agriculture. The dependence on staple cereals lacking many essential nutrients means that malnutrition is endemic in developing(More)
Numerous crops have been bred or engineered to increase carotenoid levels in an effort to develop novel strategies that address vitamin A deficiency in the developing world. The pioneering work in rice (not covered in this review) has been followed up in many additional crops, some of which are staples like rice whereas others are luxury products whose(More)
The profile of secondary metabolites in plants reflects the balance of biosynthesis, degradation and storage, including the availability of precursors and products that affect the metabolic equilibrium. We investigated the impact of the precursor-product balance on the carotenoid pathway in the endosperm of intact rice plants because this tissue does not(More)
We have developed an assay based on rice embryogenic callus for rapid functional characterization of metabolic genes. We validated the assay using a selection of well-characterized genes with known functions in the carotenoid biosynthesis pathway, allowing rapid visual screening of callus phenotypes based on tissue color. We then used the system to identify(More)
Antioxidants are protective molecules that neutralize reactive oxygen species and prevent oxidative damage to cellular components such as membranes, proteins and nucleic acids, therefore reducing the rate of cell death and hence the effects of ageing and ageing-related diseases. The fortification of food with antioxidants represents an overlap between two(More)
Carotenoids fulfill many processes that are essential for normal growth and development in plants, but they are also responsible for the breathtaking variety of red-to-yellow colors we see in flowers and fruits. Although such visual diversity helps to attract pollinators and encourages herbivores to distribute seeds, humans also benefit from the aesthetic(More)
Over the last two decades, many carotenogenic genes have been cloned and used to generate metabolically engineered plants producing higher levels of carotenoids. However, comparatively little is known about the regulation of endogenous carotenogenic genes in higher plants, and this restricts our ability to predict how engineered plants will perform in terms(More)
Plants and microbes produce multiple carotenoid pigments with important nutritional roles in animals. By unraveling the basis of carotenoid biosynthesis it has become possible to modulate the key metabolic steps in plants and thus increase the nutritional value of staple crops, such as rice (Oryza sativa), maize (Zea mays) and potato (Solanum tuberosum).(More)
The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are international development targets for the year 2015 that aim to achieve relative improvements in the standards of health, socioeconomic status and education in the world’s poorest countries. Many of the challenges addressed by the MDGs reflect the direct or indirect consequences of subsistence agriculture in(More)