Publications by authors named "Christelle André"

29 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Activation of Transcription Causes Anthocyanin Accumulation in Flesh of the Red-Fleshed Mutant of 'Sanyueli' ( Lindl.).

Front Plant Sci 2021 22;12:680469. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Fruit Research Institute, Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Fuzhou, China.

Plum is one of the most important stone fruits in the world and anthocyanin-rich plums are increasingly popular due to their health-promoting potential. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of anthocyanin accumulation in the flesh of the red-fleshed mutant of the yellow-fleshed plum 'Sanyueli'. RNA-Seq and qRT-PCR showed that anthocyanin biosynthetic genes and the transcription factor were upregulated in the flesh of the mutant. Functional testing in tobacco leaves indicated that was an anthocyanin pathway activator and can activate the promoter of the anthocyanin biosynthetic genes and . The role of in anthocyanin accumulation in the flesh of plum was further confirmed by virus-induced gene silencing. These results provide information for further elucidating the underlying mechanisms of anthocyanin accumulation in the flesh of plum and for the breeding of new red-fleshed plum cultivars.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2021.680469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8259629PMC
June 2021

Differential regulation of triterpene biosynthesis induced by an early failure in cuticle formation in apple.

Hortic Res 2021 Apr 1;8(1):75. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research, Auckland, New Zealand.

Waxy apple cuticles predominantly accumulate ursane-type triterpenes, but the profile shifts with the induction of skin russeting towards lupane-type triterpenes. We previously characterised several key enzymes in the ursane-type and lupane-type triterpene pathways, but this switch in triterpene metabolism associated with loss of cuticle integrity is not fully understood. To analyse the relationship between triterpene biosynthesis and russeting, we used microscopy, RNA-sequencing and metabolite profiling during apple fruit development. We compared the skin of three genetically-close clones of 'Golden Delicious' (with waxy, partially russeted and fully russeted skin). We identified a unique molecular profile for the russet clone, including low transcript abundance of multiple cuticle-specific metabolic pathways in the early stages of fruit development. Using correlation analyses between gene transcription and metabolite concentration we found MYB transcription factors strongly associated with lupane-type triterpene biosynthesis. We showed how their transcription changed with the onset of cuticle cracking followed by russeting and that one factor, MYB66, was able to bind the promoter of the oxidosqualene cyclase OSC5, to drive the production of lupeol derivatives. These results provide insights into the breakdown of cuticle integrity leading to russet and how this drives MYB-regulated changes to triterpene biosynthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41438-021-00511-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8012369PMC
April 2021

Food Quality Assessed by Chemometrics.

Foods 2020 Jul 8;9(7). Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Systems and Bioprocessing Engineering group, Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), 5 avenue des Hauts Fourneaux, L4422 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.

Food market globalization, food security as well as increasing consumer demand for safe, minimally processed and healthy food impose the need to establish new approaches for identifying and assessing food quality markers. Nowadays, food industry stakeholders are challenged to assure food quality and safety without compromising several prerequisites such as sustainable and ecologically resilient food production, prolonged shelf life, satisfactory sensory quality, enhanced nutritional value and health-promoting properties. In addition, food fraud related to deliberate product mislabeling or economically intended adulteration is of major concern for both industry and regulatory authorities due to cost and public health implications. Notwithstanding the great number of state-of-the-art analytical tools available for quantifying food quality markers, their implementation results in highly complex and big datasets, which are not easily interpretable. In this context, chemometrics e.g., supervised and unsupervised multivariate exploratory analyses, design-of-experiment methodology, univariate or multivariate regression modelling etc., are commonly implemented as part of food process optimization and food quality assessment. In this Special Issue, we aimed to publish innovative research and perspective papers on chemometric-assisted case studies relating to food quality assessment, food authenticity, mathematical modelling and optimization of processes involved in food manufacturing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods9070897DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7404458PMC
July 2020

Tuscan Varieties of Sweet Cherry Are Rich Sources of Ursolic and Oleanolic Acid: Protein Modeling Coupled to Targeted Gene Expression and Metabolite Analyses.

Molecules 2019 Apr 22;24(8). Epub 2019 Apr 22.

Environmental Research and Innovation Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, 5 avenue des Hauts-Fourneaux, L-4362 Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg.

The potential of six ancient Tuscan sweet cherry ( L.) varieties as a source of health-promoting pentacyclic triterpenes is here evaluated by means of a targeted gene expression and metabolite analysis. By using a sequence homology criterion, we identify five oxidosqualene cyclase genes (s) and three cytochrome P450s (s) that are putatively involved in the triterpene production pathway in sweet cherries. We performed 3D structure prediction and induced-fit docking using cation intermediates and reaction products for some OSCs to predict their function. We show that the Tuscan varieties have different amounts of ursolic and oleanolic acids and that these variations are related to different gene expression profiles. This study stresses the interest of valorizing ancient fruits as alternative sources of functional molecules with nutraceutical value. It also provides information on sweet cherry triterpene biosynthetic genes, which could be the object of follow-up functional studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules24081590DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6515059PMC
April 2019

Antifungal Activity of Saponins from the Fruit Pericarp of Sapindus mukorossi against Venturia inaequalis and Botrytis cinerea.

Plant Dis 2018 May 20;102(5):991-1000. Epub 2018 Mar 20.

Julius Kühn-Institute, Federal Research Center for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Plant Protection in Fruit Crops and Viticulture.

The antifungal activity of an aqueous extract (AE) and the solid fraction of a chloroform-methanol fruit pericarp extract (CME) of Sapindus mukorossi resolved in water was tested for the first time against Venturia inaequalis and Botrytis cinerea-two important fungal pathogens worldwide. In the greenhouse, a CME (1% vol/vol) spray significantly reduced V. inaequalis symptoms and sporulation (99%) on apple seedling leaves (P ≤ 0.05). In field trials, applications of AE (1% vol/vol) reduced the disease severity of B. cinerea on grape, on average, by 63%. Extracts were fractionated by high-performance liquid chromatography and the bioefficacy of the fractions was tested in vitro. Some components of the most fungicidal fraction were identified by liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry as saponins: sapindoside B (accounting for ≥98% of the total constituents), hederagenin-pentosylhexoside, and oleanolic acid-hexosyl-deoxyhexosyl-hexoside. This fraction inhibited the mycelial growth of V. inaequalis and B. cinerea by 45 and 43%, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-06-17-0906-REDOI Listing
May 2018

The ripening disorder berry shrivel affects anthocyanin biosynthesis and sugar metabolism in Zweigelt grape berries.

Planta 2018 Feb 26;247(2):471-481. Epub 2017 Oct 26.

Division of Viticulture and Pomology, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Konrad Lorenz Straße 24, Tulln, 3430, Vienna, Austria.

Main Conclusion: Timescale analyses suggest the berry shrivel (BS) disorder is induced before veraison with strong effects on anthocyanin biosynthesis, and minor effects on sugar transport and metabolism. Berry shrivel (BS)-affected grapes have low sugar contents, high acidity, less anthocyanins and flaccid berries. To date no pathogenic causes are known, and studies to elucidate the molecular basis leading to symptom induction and development are limited. Here we present a study on pre-symptomatic as well as symptomatic BS berries to characterize early metabolic changes, with focus on anthocyanin biosynthesis and sugars metabolism. Healthy and BS berries from six sampling time points were used (BBCH79-BBCH89). Our objectives are (1) to search for the beginning of BS-related physiological processes; (2) to search for key enzymes and sugar transporters involved in BS induction and development and (3) to understand the consequences on polyphenol biosynthesis. We employed high performance anion exchange chromatography coupled with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) technology for sugar and polyphenol analyses, respectively. Additionally we conducted expression analyses (qPCR) of key genes and enzymatic activity assays. Our results show that BS-related processes start before veraison, as determined by slightly reduced hexose contents and reduced expression levels of a vacuolar invertase (VviGIN1), two monosaccharide transporters (VviTMT2, VviTMT3) and the anthocyanin biosynthesis (VviUFGT, VviMYBA1/2) genes. Lower amounts of delphinidin and cyanidin glycosidic forms were determined, while caftaric acid, quercetin-3-O-glucuronide and (+)-catechin were increased in BS berries. Although not all results were conclusive, especially for the sugar metabolism, our data provide important knowledge to improve the understanding of the highly complex berry shrivel ripening disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00425-017-2795-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5778156PMC
February 2018

Differential Lipid Composition and Gene Expression in the Semi-Russeted "Cox Orange Pippin" Apple Variety.

Front Plant Sci 2017 26;8:1656. Epub 2017 Sep 26.

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, Belvaux, Luxembourg.

Russeting is characterized by a particular rough and brown phenotype, which is mainly due to the accumulation of suberin in the inner part of the epidermal cell walls. In our previous bulk transcriptomic analysis, comparing fully russeted, and waxy apple varieties, showed, in apple fruit skin, a massive decreased expression of cutin, wax and some pentacyclic triterpene biosynthesis genes in the russeted varieties, with an expected concomitant enhanced expression of the suberin biosynthetic genes. In the present work, we performed a deep investigation of the aliphatic composition of the cutin, suberin, waxes, and triterpenes in the waxy and russeted patches of the semi-russeted apple variety "Cox Orange Pippin." A targeted gene expression profiling was performed to validate candidate genes which were identified in our previous work and might be involved in the respective metabolic pathways. Our results showed that a decrease of cuticular waxes, ursolic acid and oleanolic acid, accompanied by an accumulation of alkyl-hydroxycinamates and betulinic acid, occurs in the russeted patches. The suberin monomer composition is characterized by specific occurrence of 20, 22, and 24 carbon aliphatic chains, whereas cutin is mainly represented by common C16 and C18 aliphatic chains. This work depicts, for the first time in apple, the complex composition of suberin, cutin, waxes and triterpenes, and confirms the strong interplay between these epidermal polymers in apple fruit skin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2017.01656DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5623121PMC
September 2017

Pentacyclic Triterpene Bioavailability: An Overview of In Vitro and In Vivo Studies.

Molecules 2017 Mar 4;22(3). Epub 2017 Mar 4.

Department of Environmental Research and Innovation, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, L-4422 Belvaux, Luxembourg.

Pentacyclic triterpenes are naturally found in a great variety of fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants and are therefore part of the human diet. The beneficial health effects of edible and medicinal plants have partly been associated with their triterpene content, but the in vivo efficacy in humans depends on many factors, including absorption and metabolism. This review presents an overview of in vitro and in vivo studies that were carried out to determine the bioavailability of pentacyclic triterpenes and highlights the efforts that have been performed to improve the dissolution properties and absorption of these compounds. As plant matrices play a critical role in triterpene bioaccessibility, this review covers literature data on the bioavailability of pentacyclic triterpenes ingested either from foods and medicinal plants or in their free form.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules22030400DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6155290PMC
March 2017

Modulation of chemical stability and in vitro bioaccessibility of beta-carotene loaded in kappa-carrageenan oil-in-gel emulsions.

Food Chem 2017 Apr 29;220:208-218. Epub 2016 Sep 29.

Environmental Research and Innovation Department (ERIN), Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), 5, Avenue des Hauts-Fourneaux, L-4362 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.

In the present paper, ionotropically structured κ-carrageenan based oil-in-gel (o/g) emulsions were tested as potential carrier systems for the delivery of β-carotene. In situ ionic gelation was induced by Na, K or Ca added at the level of 0.2-0.6% (w/w). All o/g emulsions exerted a true gel like behaviour with storage modulus (G') being reduced according to the order: K>Ca>Na. Ionic gelation induced a moderate increase in the microscopically assessed lipid droplets radii. O/g emulsions containing monovalent ions exerted the highest β-carotene retention throughout isothermal storage particularly at high (37 and 55°C) temperatures. Notwithstanding, increasing ionic strength resulted in acceleration of β-carotene degradation rates for all cation species. β-Carotene bioaccessibility was significantly lower in Cao/g emulsions due to the formation of complexes between the biopolymer matrix containing β-carotene and bile salts. A good correlation between β-carotene bioaccessibility, physical and colloidal aspects of the micellar digesta fractions was observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.09.175DOI Listing
April 2017

MdMyb93 is a regulator of suberin deposition in russeted apple fruit skins.

New Phytol 2016 Dec 15;212(4):977-991. Epub 2016 Sep 15.

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, 5 Avenue des Hauts-Fourneaux, Esch/Alzette, L-4362, Luxembourg.

A comparison of the transcriptomes of russeted vs nonrusseted apple skins previously highlighted a tight relationship between a gene encoding an MYB-type transcription factor, MdMYB93, and some key suberin biosynthetic genes. The present work assesses the role of this transcription factor in the suberization process. A phylogenetic analysis of MdMYB93 and Arabidopsis thaliana MYBs was performed and the function of MdMYB93 was further investigated using Agrobacterium-mediated transient overexpression in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. An RNA-Seq analysis was performed to highlight the MdMYB93-regulated genes. Ultraperformance liquid chromatography-triple time-of-flight (UPLC-TripleTOF) and GC-MS were used to investigate alterations in phenylpropanoid, soluble-free lipid and lipid polyester contents. A massive accumulation of suberin and its biosynthetic precursors in MdMYB93 agroinfiltrated leaves was accompanied by a remobilization of phenylpropanoids and an increased amount of lignin precursors. Gene expression profiling displayed a concomitant alteration of lipid and phenylpropanoid metabolism, cell wall development, and extracellular transport, with a large number of induced transcripts predicted to be involved in suberin deposition. The present work supports a major role of MdMYB93 in the regulation of suberin deposition in russeted apple skins, from the synthesis of monomeric precursors, their transport, polymerization, and final deposition as suberin in primary cell wall.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.14170DOI Listing
December 2016

Multifunctional oxidosqualene cyclases and cytochrome P450 involved in the biosynthesis of apple fruit triterpenic acids.

New Phytol 2016 09 23;211(4):1279-94. Epub 2016 May 23.

The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited, Mt Albert Research Centre, Private Bag 92 169, Auckland, 1142, New Zealand.

Apple (Malus × domestica) accumulates bioactive ursane-, oleanane-, and lupane-type triterpenes in its fruit cuticle, but their biosynthetic pathway is still poorly understood. We used a homology-based approach to identify and functionally characterize two new oxidosqualene cyclases (MdOSC4 and MdOSC5) and one cytochrome P450 (CYP716A175). The gene expression patterns of these enzymes and of previously described oxidosqualene cyclases were further studied in 20 apple cultivars with contrasting triterpene profiles. MdOSC4 encodes a multifunctional oxidosqualene cyclase producing an oleanane-type triterpene, putatively identified as germanicol, as well as β-amyrin and lupeol, in the proportion 82 : 14 : 4. MdOSC5 cyclizes 2,3-oxidosqualene into lupeol and β-amyrin at a ratio of 95 : 5. CYP716A175 catalyses the C-28 oxidation of α-amyrin, β-amyrin, lupeol and germanicol, producing ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, betulinic acid, and putatively morolic acid. The gene expression of MdOSC1 was linked to the concentrations of ursolic and oleanolic acid, whereas the expression of MdOSC5 was correlated with the concentrations of betulinic acid and its caffeate derivatives. Two new multifuntional triterpene synthases as well as a multifunctional triterpene C-28 oxidase were identified in Malus × domestica. This study also suggests that MdOSC1 and MdOSC5 are key genes in apple fruit triterpene biosynthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.13996DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5089662PMC
September 2016

Cannabis sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules.

Front Plant Sci 2016 4;7:19. Epub 2016 Feb 4.

Environmental Research and Innovation, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.

Cannabis sativa L. is an important herbaceous species originating from Central Asia, which has been used in folk medicine and as a source of textile fiber since the dawn of times. This fast-growing plant has recently seen a resurgence of interest because of its multi-purpose applications: it is indeed a treasure trove of phytochemicals and a rich source of both cellulosic and woody fibers. Equally highly interested in this plant are the pharmaceutical and construction sectors, since its metabolites show potent bioactivities on human health and its outer and inner stem tissues can be used to make bioplastics and concrete-like material, respectively. In this review, the rich spectrum of hemp phytochemicals is discussed by putting a special emphasis on molecules of industrial interest, including cannabinoids, terpenes and phenolic compounds, and their biosynthetic routes. Cannabinoids represent the most studied group of compounds, mainly due to their wide range of pharmaceutical effects in humans, including psychotropic activities. The therapeutic and commercial interests of some terpenes and phenolic compounds, and in particular stilbenoids and lignans, are also highlighted in view of the most recent literature data. Biotechnological avenues to enhance the production and bioactivity of hemp secondary metabolites are proposed by discussing the power of plant genetic engineering and tissue culture. In particular two systems are reviewed, i.e., cell suspension and hairy root cultures. Additionally, an entire section is devoted to hemp trichomes, in the light of their importance as phytochemical factories. Ultimately, prospects on the benefits linked to the use of the -omics technologies, such as metabolomics and transcriptomics to speed up the identification and the large-scale production of lead agents from bioengineered Cannabis cell culture, are presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2016.00019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740396PMC
February 2016

Carotenoid and polyphenol bioaccessibility and cellular uptake from plum and cabbage varieties.

Food Chem 2016 Apr 23;197(Pt A):325-32. Epub 2015 Oct 23.

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, Environmental Research and Innovation Department, L-4422 Belvaux, Luxembourg. Electronic address:

Plum and cabbage are rich in carotenoids and polyphenols. However, their bioactivity depends on their release and intestinal uptake. Four varieties of Brassicaceae (Duchy, Scots Kale, Kale, Kalorama) and Prunus (Cherry Plum, Plum 620, Ersinger, Italian Plum) were studied; bioaccessibility following in vitro digestion, cellular uptake (Caco-2 vs. co-culture cell model: Caco-2:HT-29-MTX (90:10%) and colonic fermentation were determined for carotenoids/polyphenols; the influence of certain kitchen preparations was likewise studied. Carotenoids were non-significantly influenced by the latter, while for polyphenols, boiling and steaming significantly reduced total phenolics (p<0.05). Carotenoid bioaccessibility did not differ significantly between Prunus vs. Brassicaceae varieties, but xanthophyll was higher than carotene bioaccessibility (p<0.01). Polyphenol bioaccessibility was low (<10%), possibly compromised by the cream containing test meal. Total carotenoid cellular uptake varied between varieties (0.3-4.1%), being higher for carotenes (4.1%) than for xanthophylls (1.6%, p<0.01), and were higher for the co-culture cell model compared to Caco-2 cells (p<0.01). Total carotenoid recovery in the colonic fraction varied from 4% to 25%. Lower bioaccessibility of carotenes thus appeared to be somewhat counterbalanced by higher cellular uptake. The potential positive role of the mucus layer for cellular uptake and the fate of the colonic digesta deserve further attention in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.10.049DOI Listing
April 2016

In Vitro Bioaccessibility and Bioavailability of Iron from Potatoes with Varying Vitamin C, Carotenoid, and Phenolic Concentrations.

J Agric Food Chem 2015 Oct 8;63(41):9012-21. Epub 2015 Oct 8.

International Potato Center, Avenida La Molina 1895, Lima 12, Lima, Peru.

The bioaccessibility and bioavailability of iron from 12 Andean potato clones were estimated using an in vitro gastrointestinal digestion procedure and the Caco-2 cell line as a model of human intestine, with ferritin formation as a marker of iron absorption. We first showed that 63.7% (for the genotype CIP_311422.016) to 79.0% (for the genotype CIP_311575.003) of the iron is released from the potato tuber matrix during in vitro gastrointestinal digestion and is therefore available at the intestinal level. On average, 32 and 24.5% of the hydrophilic bioactive components, vitamin C and chlorogenic acid, respectively, were also bioaccessible from boiled tubers. Intestinal absorption of intrinsic iron from potato tubers could not be detected using our in vitro Caco-2 cell model. When an extrinsic source of iron (20 μM FeCl3 and 1 mM ascorbic acid) was added to the digestion mixture, iron absorption varied from 1.8 to 8% for the genotypes CIP_311422.016 and CIP_311624.021, respectively, as compared to the reference control. Principal component analysis revealed negative relationships between bioavailable iron values and phenolic concentrations, whereas vitamin C concentrations were positively associated with the ferritin values. Further controlled intervention trials would be needed to conclusively assess the bioavailability of intrinsic iron from potato tubers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.5b02904DOI Listing
October 2015

Apple russeting as seen through the RNA-seq lens: strong alterations in the exocarp cell wall.

Plant Mol Biol 2015 May 19;88(1-2):21-40. Epub 2015 Mar 19.

Plant Cell Wall Integrative Biology, Centre de Recherche Public - Gabriel Lippmann, 41, rue du Brill, Belvaux, L-4422, Luxembourg,

Russeting, a commercially important defect in the exocarp of apple (Malus × domestica), is mainly characterized by the accumulation of suberin on the inner part of the cell wall of the outer epidermal cell layers. However, knowledge on the underlying genetic components triggering this trait remains sketchy. Bulk transcriptomic profiling was performed on the exocarps of three russeted and three waxy apple varieties. This experimental design was chosen to lower the impact of genotype on the obtained results. Validation by qPCR was carried out on representative genes and additional varieties. Gene ontology enrichment revealed a repression of lignin and cuticle biosynthesis genes in russeted exocarps, concomitantly with an enhanced expression of suberin deposition, stress responsive, primary sensing, NAC and MYB-family transcription factors, and specific triterpene biosynthetic genes. Notably, a strong correlation (R(2) = 0.976) between the expression of a MYB93-like transcription factor and key suberin biosynthetic genes was found. Our results suggest that russeting is induced by a decreased expression of cuticle biosynthetic genes, leading to a stress response which not only affects suberin deposition, but also the entire structure of the cell wall. The large number of candidate genes identified in this study provides a solid foundation for further functional studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11103-015-0303-4DOI Listing
May 2015

Nutritional composition and antioxidant properties of the sim fruit (Rhodomyrtus tomentosa).

Food Chem 2015 Feb 23;168:410-6. Epub 2014 Jul 23.

Institut des Sciences de la Vie, UCLouvain, Belgium.

In this study, detailed chemical properties of sim (Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Ait.) Hassk.) fruit including nutritional composition, phenolic content and antioxidant capacity were determined for the first time. A 150g serving of sim fruit contained high levels of dietary fibre (69.94-87.43% of Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)), α-tocopherol (38.90-51.87% RDI), manganese (>100% RDI), and copper (44.44% RDI) but low levels of protein (2.63% RDI), lipid (1.59-3.5% RDI), and sugars (5.65% RDI). The predominant fatty acid in the sim fruit sample was linoleic acid (75.36% of total fatty acids). Interestingly, total phenolics (49.21±0.35mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/g dry weight (DW)) were particularly high and resulted in a high antioxidant capacity (431.17±14.56μmol Trolox equivalent (TE)/g DW). These results, together with our recent discovery of high amount of piceatannol, a stilbene with potent biological activities, highlight the potential of sim, an under-utilised plant species from South-East Asia, as a new source of health-promoting compounds including dietary fibres, essential fatty acids, and phenolic compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.07.081DOI Listing
February 2015

Phenolic profiling in the pulp and peel of nine plantain cultivars (Musa sp.).

Food Chem 2015 Jan 2;167:197-204. Epub 2014 Jul 2.

Environment and Agro-Biotechnologies Department, Public Research Centre - Gabriel Lippmann, L-4422 Belvaux, Luxembourg. Electronic address:

The present study investigated the phenolic profiles of the pulp and peel of nine plantain cultivars and compared them to those of two dessert bananas of commercial interest (Grand Nain and Gros Michel), alongside a newly created hybrid, resistant to black sigatoka disease (F568). Identification and quantification of phenolic compounds were performed by means of HPLC-ESI-HR-MS and HPLC-DAD. Hydroxycinnamic acids, particularly ferulic acid-hexoside with 4.4-85.1 μg/g of dry weight, dominated in the plantain pulp and showed a large diversity among cultivars. Flavonol glycosides were predominant in plantain peels, rutin (242.2-618.7 μg/g of dry weight) being the most abundant. A principal component analysis on the whole data revealed that the phenolic profiles of the hybrid, the dessert bananas and the pure plantains differed from each other. Plantain pulps and peels appeared as good sources of phenolics, which could be involved in the health benefits associated with their current applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.06.095DOI Listing
January 2015

Characterization of Musa sp. fruits and plantain banana ripening stages according to their physicochemical attributes.

J Agric Food Chem 2014 Aug 18;62(34):8705-15. Epub 2014 Aug 18.

Institut des Sciences de la Vie, Université Catholique de Louvain , B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

This study aimed at understanding the contribution of the fruit physicochemical parameters to Musa sp. diversity and plantain ripening stages. A discriminant analysis was first performed on a collection of 35 Musa sp. cultivars, organized in six groups based on the consumption mode (dessert or cooking banana) and the genomic constitution. A principal component analysis reinforced by a logistic regression on plantain cultivars was proposed as an analytical approach to describe the plantain ripening stages. The results of the discriminant analysis showed that edible fraction, peel pH, pulp water content, and pulp total phenolics were among the most contributing attributes for the discrimination of the cultivar groups. With mean values ranging from 65.4 to 247.3 mg of gallic acid equivalents/100 g of fresh weight, the pulp total phenolics strongly differed between interspecific and monospecific cultivars within dessert and nonplantain cooking bananas. The results of the logistic regression revealed that the best models according to fitting parameters involved more than one physicochemical attribute. Interestingly, pulp and peel total phenolic contents contributed in the building up of these models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf5021939DOI Listing
August 2014

Unusual immuno-modulatory triterpene-caffeates in the skins of russeted varieties of apples and pears.

J Agric Food Chem 2013 Mar 4;61(11):2773-9. Epub 2013 Mar 4.

The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited, Mt Albert Research Centre , Private Bag 92 169, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.

Three triterpene-caffeates have been isolated from skins of a russeted apple cultivar "Merton Russet" and identified by LC-MS and NMR as betulinic acid-3-cis-caffeate, betulinic acid-3-trans-caffeate, and oleanolic acid-3-trans-caffeate. Betulinic acid-3-trans-caffeate and oleanolic acid-3-trans-caffeate were also found in russeted pear skins. These compounds have not been previously reported in apples or pears, or in any other foods. Their presence was related to suberized tissue as they were only found in russet portions of the partially russeted apple cultivar "Cox's Orange Pippin" and were not detected in the waxy apple cultivar "Royal Gala". High concentrations of betulinic acid-3-trans-caffeate were found in the bark of both "Merton Russet" and "Royal Gala" trees. The three triterpene-caffeates showed anti-inflammatory activity in vitro, inhibiting NF-κB activation with IC50's of 6-9 μM. Betulinic acid-3-trans-caffeate, the predominant compound in the apples, was immuno-modulatory at around 10 μM in the in vitro and ex vivo bioassays, boosting production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα in cells stimulated with bacterial lipopolysaccharides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf305190eDOI Listing
March 2013

Piceatannol, a potent bioactive stilbene, as major phenolic component in Rhodomyrtus tomentosa.

Food Chem 2013 Jun 10;138(2-3):1421-30. Epub 2012 Nov 10.

Institut des Sciences de la Vie, UCLouvain, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

The sim fruit (Rhodomyrtus tomentosa) has long been used in folk medicine to treat diarrhoea, dysentery, and to boost the immune system. The purpose of this work was to determine its phenolic profile and to evaluate the changes of content during maturation, as well as the variations induced by environmental conditions. Using HPLC-ESI-HR-MS, 19 phenolic compounds (PCs) were tentatively characterised and included stilbenes and ellagitannins as major components, followed by anthocyanins, flavonols, and gallic acid. PCs were then further quantified by HPLC-DAD. Piceatannol, a promising health-promoting stilbene component, was the major PC in the fruit with a concentration of 2.3mg/g dry weight at full maturity stage. This concentration is 1000-2000 times higher than that of red grapes, a major source of stilbene in the human diet. During maturation, the contents in piceatannol and other stilbenes, ellagitannins, and flavonols decreased while the anthocyanin content increased. Shade-grown sim fruits showed significantly higher piceatannol levels than sun-exposed fruits. Taken together, these findings highlight the potential of sim, an under-utilised plant species from South-East Asia, as a source of health-promoting fruits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.10.125DOI Listing
June 2013

Anti-inflammatory procyanidins and triterpenes in 109 apple varieties.

J Agric Food Chem 2012 Oct 10;60(42):10546-54. Epub 2012 Oct 10.

New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited, Mt. Albert Research Centre, Private Bag 92 169, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.

We evaluated the potential of apple to reduce inflammation. Phenolic compounds and triterpenes were analyzed in 109 apple cultivars. Total phenolics ranged from 29 to 7882 μg g(-1) of fresh weight (FW) in the flesh and from 733 to 4868 μg g(-1) FW in the skin, with flavanols including epicatechin and procyanidins as major components. Ursolic (44.7 to 3522 μg g(-1) FW) and oleanolic (47.2 to 838 μg g(-1) FW) acids dominated the skin triterpene profile. Five chemically contrasting cultivars were fractionated and their immune-modulating activity measured using two cell-based assays targeting key points in the inflammation process. Cultivars exhibiting high contents of procyanidins were the most potent at inhibiting NF-κB while triterpene-rich fractions reduced the promoter activity of the gene of TNFα. This study provides new insights into how apple genetic diversity could be used to alleviate inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf302809kDOI Listing
October 2012

Transcriptional analysis of apple fruit proanthocyanidin biosynthesis.

J Exp Bot 2012 Sep 1;63(15):5437-50. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited (PFR), Private Bag 92 169 Auckland, New Zealand.

Proanthocyanidins (PAs) are products of the flavonoid pathway, which also leads to the production of anthocyanins and flavonols. Many flavonoids have antioxidant properties and may have beneficial effects for human health. PAs are found in the seeds and fruits of many plants. In apple fruit (Malus × domestica Borkh.), the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway is most active in the skin, with the flavan-3-ols, catechin, and epicatechin acting as the initiating units for the synthesis of PA polymers. This study examined the genes involved in the production of PAs in three apple cultivars: two heritage apple cultivars, Hetlina and Devonshire Quarrenden, and a commercial cultivar, Royal Gala. HPLC analysis shows that tree-ripe fruit from Hetlina and Devonshire Quarrenden had a higher phenolic content than Royal Gala. Epicatechin and catechin biosynthesis is under the control of the biosynthetic enzymes anthocyanidin reductase (ANR) and leucoanthocyanidin reductase (LAR1), respectively. Counter-intuitively, real-time quantitative PCR analysis showed that the expression levels of Royal Gala LAR1 and ANR were significantly higher than those of both Devonshire Quarrenden and Hetlina. This suggests that a compensatory feedback mechanism may be active, whereby low concentrations of PAs may induce higher expression of gene transcripts. Further investigation is required into the regulation of these key enzymes in apple.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/ers193DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3444262PMC
September 2012

QTL and candidate gene mapping for polyphenolic composition in apple fruit.

BMC Plant Biol 2012 Jan 23;12:12. Epub 2012 Jan 23.

The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited (Plant & Food Research), Palmerston North Research Centre, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.

Background: The polyphenolic products of the phenylpropanoid pathway, including proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins and flavonols, possess antioxidant properties that may provide health benefits. To investigate the genetic architecture of control of their biosynthesis in apple fruit, various polyphenolic compounds were quantified in progeny from a 'Royal Gala' × 'Braeburn' apple population segregating for antioxidant content, using ultra high performance liquid chromatography of extracts derived from fruit cortex and skin.

Results: Construction of genetic maps for 'Royal Gala' and 'Braeburn' enabled detection of 79 quantitative trait loci (QTL) for content of 17 fruit polyphenolic compounds. Seven QTL clusters were stable across two years of harvest and included QTLs for content of flavanols, flavonols, anthocyanins and hydroxycinnamic acids. Alignment of the parental genetic maps with the apple whole genome sequence in silico enabled screening for co-segregation with the QTLs of a range of candidate genes coding for enzymes in the polyphenolic biosynthetic pathway. This co-location was confirmed by genetic mapping of markers derived from the gene sequences. Leucoanthocyanidin reductase (LAR1) co-located with a QTL cluster for the fruit flavanols catechin, epicatechin, procyanidin dimer and five unknown procyanidin oligomers identified near the top of linkage group (LG) 16, while hydroxy cinnamate/quinate transferase (HCT/HQT) co-located with a QTL for chlorogenic acid concentration mapping near the bottom of LG 17.

Conclusion: We conclude that LAR1 and HCT/HQT are likely to influence the concentration of these compounds in apple fruit and provide useful allele-specific markers for marker assisted selection of trees bearing fruit with healthy attributes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2229-12-12DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3285079PMC
January 2012

Enhancing ascorbate in fruits and tubers through over-expression of the L-galactose pathway gene GDP-L-galactose phosphorylase.

Plant Biotechnol J 2012 May 1;10(4):390-7. Epub 2011 Dec 1.

The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited, Auckland, New Zealand.

Ascorbate, or vitamin C, is obtained by humans mostly from plant sources. Various approaches have been made to increase ascorbate in plants by transgenic means. Most of these attempts have involved leaf material from model plants, with little success reported using genes from the generally accepted l-galactose pathway of ascorbate biosynthesis. We focused on increasing ascorbate in commercially significant edible plant organs using a gene, GDP-l-galactose phosphorylase (GGP or VTC2), that we had previously shown to increase ascorbate concentration in tobacco and Arabidopsis thaliana. The coding sequence of Actinidia chinensis GGP, under the control of the 35S promoter, was expressed in tomato and strawberry. Potato was transformed with potato or Arabidopsis GGP genes under the control of the 35S promoter or a polyubiquitin promoter (potato only). Five lines of tomato, up to nine lines of potato, and eight lines of strawberry were regenerated for each construct. Three lines of tomato had a threefold to sixfold increase in fruit ascorbate, and all lines of strawberry showed a twofold increase. All but one line of each potato construct also showed an increase in tuber ascorbate of up to threefold. Interestingly, in tomato fruit, increased ascorbate was associated with loss of seed and the jelly of locular tissue surrounding the seed which was not seen in strawberry. In both strawberry and tomato, an increase in polyphenolic content was associated with increased ascorbate. These results show that GGP can be used to raise significantly ascorbate concentration in commercially significant edible crops.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7652.2011.00668.xDOI Listing
May 2012

An unusual plant triterpene synthase with predominant α-amyrin-producing activity identified by characterizing oxidosqualene cyclases from Malus × domestica.

FEBS J 2011 Jul 24;278(14):2485-99. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited (Plant & Food Research), Auckland, New Zealand.

The pentacyclic triterpenes, in particular ursolic acid and oleanolic acid and their derivatives, exist abundantly in the plant kingdom, where they are well known for their anti-inflammatory, antitumour and antimicrobial properties. α-Amyrin and β-amyrin are the precursors of ursolic and oleanolic acids, respectively, formed by concerted cyclization of squalene epoxide by a complex synthase reaction. We identified three full-length expressed sequence tag sequences in cDNA libraries constructed from apple (Malus × domestica 'Royal Gala') that were likely to encode triterpene synthases. Two of these expressed sequence tag sequences were essentially identical (> 99% amino acid similarity; MdOSC1 and MdOSC3). MdOSC1 and MdOSC2 were expressed by transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves and by expression in the yeast Pichia methanolica. The resulting products were analysed by GC and GC-MS. MdOSC1 was shown to be a mixed amyrin synthase (a 5 : 1 ratio of α-amyrin to β-amyrin). MdOSC1 is the only triterpene synthase so far identified in which the level of α-amyrin produced is > 80% of the total product and is, therefore, primarily an α-amyrin synthase. No product was evident for MdOSC2 when expressed either transiently or in yeast, suggesting that this putative triterpene synthase is either encoded by a pseudogene or does not express well in these systems. Transcript expression analysis in Royal Gala indicated that the genes are mostly expressed in apple peel, and that the MdOSC2 expression level was much lower than that of MdOSC1 and MdOSC3 in all the tissues tested. Amyrin content analysis was undertaken by LC-MS, and demonstrated that levels and ratios differ between tissues, but that the true consequence of synthase activity is reflected in the ursolic/oleanolic acid content and in further triterpenoids derived from them. Phylogenetic analysis placed the three triterpene synthase sequences with other triterpene synthases that encoded either α-amyrin and/or β-amyrin synthase. MdOSC1 and MdOSC3 clustered with the multifunctional triterpene synthases, whereas MdOSC2 was most similar to the β-amyrin synthases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-4658.2011.08175.xDOI Listing
July 2011

Gene expression changes related to the production of phenolic compounds in potato tubers grown under drought stress.

Phytochemistry 2009 Jun 5;70(9):1107-1116. Epub 2009 Aug 5.

Department 'Environment and Agro-Biotechnologies', Centre de Recherche Public-Gabriel Lippmann, Rue du Brill, 41, L-4422 Belvaux, Luxembourg. Electronic address:

Polyphenols represent a large family of plant secondary metabolites implicated in the prevention of various diseases such as cancers and cardiovascular diseases. The potato is a significant source of polyphenols in the human diet. In this study, we examined the expression of thirteen genes involved in the biosynthesis of polyphenols in potato tubers using real-time RT-PCR. A selection of five field grown native Andean cultivars, presenting contrasting polyphenol profiles, was used. Moreover, we investigated the expression of the genes after a drought exposure. We concluded that the diverse polyphenolic profiles are correlated to variations in gene expression profiles. The drought-induced variations of the gene expression was highly cultivar-specific. In the three anthocyanin-containing cultivars, gene expression was coordinated and reflected at the metabolite level supporting a hypothesis that regulation of gene expression plays an essential role in the potato polyphenol production. We proposed that the altered sucrose flux induced by the drought stress is partly responsible for the changes in gene expression. This study provides information on key polyphenol biosynthetic and regulatory genes, which could be useful in the development of potato varieties with enhanced health and nutritional benefits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phytochem.2009.07.008DOI Listing
June 2009

Modification of the health-promoting value of potato tubers field grown under drought stress: emphasis on dietary antioxidant and glycoalkaloid contents in five native andean cultivars (Solanum tuberosum L.).

J Agric Food Chem 2009 Jan;57(2):599-609

Institut des Sciences de la Vie, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium.

The effects of drought stress on dietary antioxidant and glycoalkaloid contents in potato tubers were investigated using a selection of five native Andean cultivars. Both freshly harvested and 4 month-stored tubers were analyzed. Responses to drought stress were highly cultivar-specific. The antioxidant contents of the yellow tuber-bearing cultivars (Sipancachi and SS-2613) were weakly affected by the drought treatment, whereas the pigmented cultivars demonstrated highly cultivar-dependent variations. A drastic reduction of anthocyanins and other polyphenols was revealed in the red- (Sullu) and purple-fleshed (Guincho Negra) cultivars, whereas an increase was shown in the purple-skinned and yellow-fleshed cultivar (Huata Colorada). The hydrophilic antioxidant capacity (evaluated by Folin-Ciocalteu and H-oxygen radical absorbance capacity assays) was highly correlated with the polyphenol content and followed, therefore, the same behavior upon drought. Carotenoid contents, including beta-carotene, as well as vitamin E, tended to increase or remain stable following drought exposure, except for the cultivar Sullu, in which the level of these lipophilic antioxidants was decreased. Vitamin C contents were not affected by drought with the exception of Guincho Negra, in which the level was increased. These variations of health-promoting compounds were associated with increased or stable levels of the toxic glycoalkaloids, alpha-solanine and alpha-chaconine. Storage at 10 degrees C for 4 months tended to decrease the concentrations of all dietary antioxidants, except those of vitamin E. This storage also reduced the drought-induced variations observed in freshly harvested tubers. These results were discussed in terms of their implications for human diet and health as well as in plant stress defense mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf8025452DOI Listing
January 2009

Antioxidant profiling of native Andean potato tubers (Solanum tuberosum L.) reveals cultivars with high levels of beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, chlorogenic acid, and petanin.

J Agric Food Chem 2007 Dec 29;55(26):10839-49. Epub 2007 Nov 29.

Institut des Sciences de la Vie, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium.

The antioxidant profile of 23 native Andean potato cultivars has been investigated from a human nutrition perspective. The main carotenoid and tocopherol compounds were studied using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with a diode array detector (HPLC-DAD) and a fluorescence detector, respectively, whereas polyphenols (including anthocyanins in colored tubers) were identified by means of both HPLC-mass spectrometry and HPLC-DAD. Antioxidant profiling revealed significant genotypic variations as well as cultivars of particular interest from a nutritional point of view. Concentrations of the health-promoting carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, ranged from 1.12 to 17.69 microg g(-1) of dry weight (DW) and from 0 to 17.7 microg g(-1) of DW, with cultivars 704353 and 702472 showing the highest levels in lutein and zeaxanthin, respectively. Whereas beta-carotene is rarely reported in potato tubers, remarkable levels of this dietary provitamin A carotenoid were detected in 16 native varieties, ranging from 0.42 to 2.19 microg g(-1) of DW. The amounts of alpha-tocopherol found in Andean potato tubers, extending from 2.73 to 20.80 microg g(-1) of DW, were clearly above the quantities generally reported for commercial varieties. Chlorogenic acid and its isomers dominated the polyphenolic profile of each cultivar. Dark purple-fleshed tubers from the cultivar 704429 contained exceptionally high levels of total anthocyanins (16.33 mg g(-1) of DW). The main anthocyanin was identified as petanin (petunidin-3-p-coumaroyl-rutinoside-5-glucoside). The results suggest that Andean potato cultivars should be exploited in screening and breeding programs for the development of potato varieties with enhanced health and nutritional benefits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf0726583DOI Listing
December 2007

Andean potato cultivars (Solanum tuberosum L.) as a source of antioxidant and mineral micronutrients.

J Agric Food Chem 2007 Jan;55(2):366-78

Institut des Sciences de la Vie, Université catholique de Louvain, B-1348 Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium.

Potato tubers were evaluated as a source of antioxidants and minerals for the human diet. A genetically diverse sample of Solanum tuberosum L. cultivars native to the Andes of South America was obtained from a collection of nearly 1000 genotypes using microsatellite markers. This size-manageable collection of 74 landraces, representing at best the genetic diversity among potato germplasm, was analyzed for iron, zinc, calcium, total phenolic, total carotenoid, and total vitamin C contents. The hydrophilic antioxidant capacity of each genotype was also measured using the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay. The iron content ranged from 29.87 to 157.96 microg g-1 of dry weight (DW), the zinc content from 12.6 to 28.83 microg g-1 of DW, and the calcium content from 271.09 to 1092.93 microg g-1 of DW. Total phenolic content varied between 1.12 and 12.37 mg of gallic acid equiv g-1 of DW, total carotenoid content between 2.83 and 36.21 microg g-1 of DW, and total vitamin C content between 217.70 and 689.47 microg g-1 of DW. The range of hydrophilic ORAC values was 28.25-250.67 micromol of Trolox equiv g-1 of DW. The hydrophilic antioxidant capacity and the total phenolic content were highly and positively correlated (r = 0.91). A strong relationship between iron and calcium contents was also found (r = 0.67). Principal component analysis on the studied nutritional contents of the core collection revealed that most potato genotypes were balanced in terms of antioxidant and mineral contents, but some of them could be distinguished by their high level in distinct micronutrients. Correlations between the micronutrient contents observed in the sample and the genetic distances assessed by microsatellites were weakly significant. However, this study demonstrated the wide variability of health-promoting micronutrient levels within the native potato germplasm as well as the significant contribution that distinct potato tubers may impart to the intake in dietary antioxidants, zinc, and iron.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf062740iDOI Listing
January 2007
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