Christopher M. Ford

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Glycosylation is a key mechanism for orchestrating the bioactivity, metabolism and location of small molecules in living cells. In plants, a large multigene family of glycosyltransferases is involved in these processes, conjugating hormones, secondary metabolites, biotic and abiotic environmental toxins, to impact directly on cellular homeostasis. The red(More)
We report here the cloning and optimized expression at 16 degrees C and the characterization of a Vitis vinifera UDP-glucose:flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase, an enzyme responsible for a late step in grapevine anthocyanin biosynthesis. The properties of this and other UDP-glucose:flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferases, homologues of the product encoded by the(More)
Organic acids are present in all plants, supporting numerous and varied facets of cellular metabolism. The type of organic acid found, and the levels to which they accumulate are extremely variable between species, developmental stages and tissue types. Acidity plays important roles in the organoleptic properties of plant tissues, where examples of both(More)
Vitis vinifera berry development is characterised by an initial phase where the fruit is small, hard and acidic, followed by a lag phase known as veraison. In the final phase, berries become larger, softer and sweeter and accumulate an array of organoleptic compounds. Since the physiological and biochemical makeup of grape berries at harvest has a profound(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS l-Ascorbate (vitamin C) has well-documented roles in many aspects of redox control and anti-oxidant activity in plant cells. This Botanical Briefing highlights recent developments in another aspect of l-ascorbate metabolism: its function as a precursor for specific processes in the biosynthesis of organic acids. SCOPE The Briefing(More)
Berries of the cultivated grapevine Vitis vinifera are notably responsive to temperature, which can influence fruit quality and hence the future compatibility of varieties with their current growing regions. Organic acids represent a key component of fruit organoleptic quality and their content is significantly influenced by temperature. The objectives of(More)
Dekkera and Brettanomyces yeast are important spoilage organisms in a number of food and beverage products. Isolates of both genera were cultured in a defined medium and supplemented with hydroxycinnamic acids and vinylphenols to investigate their influence on growth and the formation of ethyl phenol derivatives. The growth rate of Brettanomyces species in(More)
Simple phenolic components of wine, hydroxycinnamic acids (HCAs) are known to have antimicrobial properties. This study sought to determine the potential of ferulic acid as an antifungal agent for the control of Dekkera. Growth was inhibited by all HCAs examined in this study, with ferulic acid being the most potent at all concentrations. In the presence of(More)
Fresh fruits are well accepted as a good source of the dietary antioxidant ascorbic acid (Asc, Vitamin C). However, fruits such as grapes do not accumulate exceptionally high quantities of Asc. Grapes, unlike most other cultivated fruits do however use Asc as a precursor for the synthesis of both oxalic (OA) and tartaric acids (TA). TA is a commercially(More)
The biosynthetic pathway of L-tartaric acid, the form most commonly encountered in nature, and its catabolic ties to vitamin C, remain a challenge to plant scientists. Vitamin C and L-tartaric acid are plant-derived metabolites with intrinsic human value. In contrast to most fruits during development, grapes accumulate L-tartaric acid, which remains within(More)