Publications by authors named "Nicholi Vorsa"

38 Publications

Differential Morpho-Physiological and Transcriptomic Responses to Heat Stress in Two Blueberry Species.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Mar 1;22(5). Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Delaware State University, Dover, DE 19901, USA.

Blueberries ( spp.) are highly vulnerable to changing climatic conditions, especially increasing temperatures. To gain insight into mechanisms underpinning the response to heat stress, two blueberry species were subjected to heat stress for 6 and 9 h at 45 °C, and leaf samples were used to study the morpho-physiological and transcriptomic changes. As compared with , exhibited thermal stress adaptation features such as small leaf size, parallel leaf orientation, waxy leaf coating, increased stomatal surface area, and stomatal closure. RNAseq analysis yielded ~135 million reads and identified 8305 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) during heat stress against the control samples. In , 2861 and 4565 genes were differentially expressed at 6 and 9 h of heat stress, whereas in , 2516 and 3072 DEGs were differentially expressed at 6 and 9 h, respectively. Among the pathways, the protein processing in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) was the highly enriched pathway in both the species: however, certain metabolic, fatty acid, photosynthesis-related, peroxisomal, and circadian rhythm pathways were enriched differently among the species. KEGG enrichment analysis of the DEGs revealed important biosynthesis and metabolic pathways crucial in response to heat stress. The GO terms enriched in both the species under heat stress were similar, but more DEGs were enriched for GO terms in than the . Together, these results elucidate the differential response of morpho-physiological and molecular mechanisms used by both the blueberry species under heat stress, and help in understanding the complex mechanisms involved in heat stress tolerance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22052481DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7957502PMC
March 2021

Genotyping-by-Sequencing Identifies Historical Breeding Stages of the Recently Domesticated American Cranberry.

Front Plant Sci 2020 16;11:607770. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, United States.

The cranberry ( Ait.) is a North American fruit crop domesticated less than 200 years ago. The USDA began the first cranberry breeding program in response to false-blossom disease in 1929, but after the first generation of cultivars were released in the 1950s, the program was discontinued. Decades later, renewed efforts for breeding cranberry cultivars at Rutgers University and the University of Wisconsin yielded the first modern cultivars in the 2000's. Phenotypic data suggests that current cultivars have changed significantly in terms of fruiting habits compared to original selections from endemic populations. However, due to the few breeding and selection cycles and short domestication period of the crop, it is unclear how much cultivated germplasm differs genetically from wild selections. Moreover, the extent to which selection for agricultural superior traits has shaped the genetic and phenotypic variation of cranberry remains mostly obscure. Here, a historical collection composed of 362 accessions, spanning wild germplasm, first-, second-, and third-generation selection cycles was studied to provide a window into the breeding and domestication history of cranberry. Genome-wide sequence variation of more than 20,000 loci showed directional selection across the stages of cranberry domestication and breeding. Diversity analysis and population structure revealed a partially defined progressive bottleneck when transitioning from early domestication stages to current cranberry forms. Additionally, breeding cycles correlated with phenotypic variation for yield-related traits and anthocyanin accumulation, but not for other fruit metabolites. Particularly, average fruit weight, yield, and anthocyanin content, which were common target traits during early selection attempts, increased dramatically in second- and third-generation cycle cultivars, whereas other fruit quality traits such as Brix and acids showed comparable variation among all breeding stages. Genome-wide association mapping in this diversity panel allowed us to identify marker-trait associations for average fruit weight and fruit rot, which are two traits of great agronomic relevance today and could be further exploited to accelerate cranberry genetic improvement. This study constitutes the first genome-wide analysis of cranberry genetic diversity, which explored how the recurrent use of wild germplasm and first-generation selections into cultivar development have shaped the evolutionary history of this crop species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.607770DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7772218PMC
December 2020

Admixture Analysis Using Genotyping-by-Sequencing Reveals Genetic Relatedness and Parental Lineage Distribution in Highbush Blueberry Genotypes and Cross Derivatives.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Dec 26;22(1). Epub 2020 Dec 26.

Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Delaware State University, Dover, DE 19901, USA.

Blueberries ( section ) are perennial shrubs widely cultivated for their edible fruits. In this study, we performed admixture and genetic relatedness analysis of northern highbush (NHB, primarily ) and southern highbush (SHB, introgressed with ) blueberry genotypes, and progenies of the BNJ16-5 cross ( × ). Using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS), we generated more than 334 million reads (75 bp). The GBS reads were aligned to the cv. Draper v1.0 reference genome sequence, and ~2.8 million reads were successfully mapped. From the alignments, we identified 2,244,039 single-nucleotide polymorphisms, which were used for principal component, haplotype, and admixture analysis. Principal component analysis revealed three main groups: (1) NHB cultivars, (2) SHB cultivars, and (3) BNJ16-5 progenies. The overall fixation index () and nucleotide diversity for NHB and SHB cultivars indicated wide genetic differentiation, and haplotype analysis revealed that SHB cultivars are more genetically diverse than NHB cultivars. The admixture analysis identified a mixture of various lineages of parental genomic introgression. This study demonstrated the effectiveness of GBS-derived single-nucleotide polymorphism markers in genetic and admixture analyses to reveal genetic relatedness and to examine parental lineages in blueberry, which may be useful for future breeding plans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010163DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7796047PMC
December 2020

Haplotype-phased genome and evolution of phytonutrient pathways of tetraploid blueberry.

Gigascience 2019 03;8(3)

Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, 1066 Bogue Street, East Lansing, MI, 48824, USA.

Background: Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) has long been consumed for its unique flavor and composition of health-promoting phytonutrients. However, breeding efforts to improve fruit quality in blueberry have been greatly hampered by the lack of adequate genomic resources and a limited understanding of the underlying genetics encoding key traits. The genome of highbush blueberry has been particularly challenging to assemble due, in large part, to its polyploid nature and genome size.

Findings: Here, we present a chromosome-scale and haplotype-phased genome assembly of the cultivar "Draper," which has the highest antioxidant levels among a diversity panel of 71 cultivars and 13 wild Vaccinium species. We leveraged this genome, combined with gene expression and metabolite data measured across fruit development, to identify candidate genes involved in the biosynthesis of important phytonutrients among other metabolites associated with superior fruit quality. Genome-wide analyses revealed that both polyploidy and tandem gene duplications modified various pathways involved in the biosynthesis of key phytonutrients. Furthermore, gene expression analyses hint at the presence of a spatial-temporal specific dominantly expressed subgenome including during fruit development.

Conclusions: These findings and the reference genome will serve as a valuable resource to guide future genome-enabled breeding of important agronomic traits in highbush blueberry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gigascience/giz012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6423372PMC
March 2019

Nontargeted Metabolomic Study on Variation of Phenolics in Different Cranberry Cultivars Using UPLC-IM - HRMS.

J Agric Food Chem 2018 Nov 6;66(46):12206-12216. Epub 2018 Nov 6.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center , Food Composition and Methods Development Laboratory , Beltsville , Maryland 20705 , United States.

The metabolomic profiles of American cranberry ( Vaccinium macrocarpon) fruits and their variation among 10 diverse cultivars were investigated by ultraperformance liquid chromatography ion-mobility high-resolution mass spectrometry (UPLC-IM - HRMS). Over 80 metabolites, belonging to various phenolic compound groups, were putatively characterized. An HRMS data matrix consisting of 4778 unique ions across the 10 cultivars was built and analyzed by orthogonal projections to latent structures discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA). The 10 cultivars segregated into 4 clusters on the basis of their metabolomic similarities, which largely reflected their genetic backgrounds. Anthocyanins exhibited the most extensive variations among all the cultivars, reflecting the effects of cranberry breeding selection on fruit color. Flavonols, phenolic acid derivatives, and proanthocyanidins also varied among the different cultivars. The nontargeted metabolomic comparison using multivariate analysis proved to be efficient and robust for determining specific metabolite differences among the cultivars.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.8b05029DOI Listing
November 2018

Multivariate GBLUP Improves Accuracy of Genomic Selection for Yield and Fruit Weight in Biparental Populations of Ait.

Front Plant Sci 2018 12;9:1310. Epub 2018 Sep 12.

Vegetable Crops Research Unit, USDA-ARS, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, United States.

The development of high-throughput genotyping has made genome-wide association (GWAS) and genomic selection (GS) applications possible for both model and non-model species. The exploitation of genome-assisted approaches could greatly benefit breeding efforts in American cranberry () and other minor crops. Using biparental populations with different degrees of relatedness, we evaluated multiple GS methods for total yield (TY) and mean fruit weight (MFW). Specifically, we compared predictive ability (PA) differences between univariate and multivariate genomic best linear unbiased predictors (GBLUP and MGBLUP, respectively). We found that MGBLUP provided higher predictive ability (PA) than GBLUP, in scenarios with medium genetic correlation (8-17% increase with cor~0.6) and high genetic correlations (25-156% with cor~0.9), but found no increase when genetic correlation was low. In addition, we found that only a few hundred single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers are needed to reach a plateau in PA for both traits in the biparental populations studied (in full linkage disequilibrium). We observed that higher resemblance among individuals in the training (TP) and validation (VP) populations provided greater PA. Although multivariate GS methods are available, genetic correlations and other factors need to be carefully considered when applying these methods for genetic improvement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2018.01310DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6144488PMC
September 2018

Massive phenotyping of multiple cranberry populations reveals novel QTLs for fruit anthocyanin content and other important chemical traits.

Mol Genet Genomics 2018 Dec 2;293(6):1379-1392. Epub 2018 Jul 2.

Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.

Because of its known phytochemical activity and benefits for human health, American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon L.) production and commercialization around the world has gained importance in recent years. Flavonoid compounds as well as the balance of sugars and acids are key quality characteristics of fresh and processed cranberry products. In this study, we identified novel QTL that influence total anthocyanin content (TAcy), titratable acidity (TA), proanthocyanidin content (PAC), Brix, and mean fruit weight (MFW) in cranberry fruits. Using repeated measurements over the fruit ripening period, different QTLs were identified at specific time points that coincide with known chemical changes during fruit development and maturation. Some genetic regions appear to be regulating more than one trait. In addition, we demonstrate the utility of digital imaging as a reliable, inexpensive and high-throughput strategy for the quantification of anthocyanin content in cranberry fruits. Using this imaging approach, we identified a set of QTLs across three different breeding populations which collocated with anthocyanin QTL identified using wet-lab approaches. We demonstrate the use of a high-throughput, reliable and highly accessible imaging strategy for predicting anthocyanin content based on cranberry fruit color, which could have a large impact for both industry and cranberry research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00438-018-1464-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6358209PMC
December 2018

Characterization and quantification of flavonoids and organic acids over fruit development in American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) cultivars using HPLC and APCI-MS/MS.

Plant Sci 2017 Sep 8;262:91-102. Epub 2017 Jun 8.

Department of Plant Biology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA; Philip E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension, Rutgers University, Chatsworth, NJ, USA. Electronic address:

Cranberry flavonoids, including anthocyanins, flavonol glycosides and proanthocyanidins, and organic acids were characterized and quantified by HPLC and LC-MS/MS during fruit development and ripening in eight cranberry cultivars. Anthocyanin biosynthesis initiated at early fruit development and reached highest level in mature fruit, with significant differences between cultivars. Major flavonol glycosides, including the most abundant quercetin-3-galactoside and myricetin-3-galactoside, showed consistent concentrations during the season with moderate fluctuation, and were at similar levels in mature fruits of the eight cultivars. Proanthocyanidins declined during fruit development and then increased slightly in later maturation stages. Levels of various proanthocyanidin oligomers/polymers with different degree-of-polymerization were highly correlated within a cultivar during fruit development. Cultivars with coancestry exhibited similar levels (high/low) of anthocyanins or proanthocyanidins, indicating genetic effects on biosynthesis of such flavonoids. All cultivars showed similar levels of malic and citric acids, and declining levels of quinic acid during fruit development. Benzoic acid was extremely low early in the season and increased sharply during fruit ripening. Levels of quinic and citric acids were significantly different among cultivars in the mature fruit. Concentrations of proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, quinic acid and benzoic acid have a strong developmental association in developing ovaries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plantsci.2017.06.004DOI Listing
September 2017

Construction of a High-Density American Cranberry ( Ait.) Composite Map Using Genotyping-by-Sequencing for Multi-pedigree Linkage Mapping.

G3 (Bethesda) 2017 04 3;7(4):1177-1189. Epub 2017 Apr 3.

Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

The American cranberry ( Ait.) is a recently domesticated, economically important, fruit crop with limited molecular resources. New genetic resources could accelerate genetic gain in cranberry through characterization of its genomic structure and by enabling molecular-assisted breeding strategies. To increase the availability of cranberry genomic resources, genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) was used to discover and genotype thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within three interrelated cranberry full-sib populations. Additional simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci were added to the SNP datasets and used to construct bin maps for the parents of the populations, which were then merged to create the first high-density cranberry composite map containing 6073 markers (5437 SNPs and 636 SSRs) on 12 linkage groups (LGs) spanning 1124 cM. Interestingly, higher rates of recombination were observed in maternal than paternal gametes. The large number of markers in common (mean of 57.3) and the high degree of observed collinearity (mean Pair-wise Spearman rank correlations >0.99) between the LGs of the parental maps demonstrates the utility of GBS in cranberry for identifying polymorphic SNP loci that are transferable between pedigrees and populations in future trait-association studies. Furthermore, the high-density of markers anchored within the component maps allowed identification of segregation distortion regions, placement of centromeres on each of the 12 LGs, and anchoring of genomic scaffolds. Collectively, the results represent an important contribution to the current understanding of cranberry genomic structure and to the availability of molecular tools for future genetic research and breeding efforts in cranberry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/g3.116.037556DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5386866PMC
April 2017

Urinary Clearance of Cranberry Flavonol Glycosides in Humans.

J Agric Food Chem 2016 Oct 18;64(42):7931-7939. Epub 2016 Oct 18.

Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers University , New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, United States.

Cranberry is reported to have health benefits, including prevention of urinary tract infections and other chronic diseases, due to the high content of polyphenols, including flavonols and flavan-3-ols. The aim of this study was to determine the clearance of flavonol glycosides and flavan-3-ols and/or their metabolites in human urine. Ten healthy women volunteers ingested 240 mL of cranberry juice containing flavonol glycosides. Urine samples were collected at 0, 90, 225, and 360 min postingestion. While flavan-3-ols were not detected, five flavonol glycosides common in cranberry were identified. Quercetin-3-galactoside, the most abundant cranberry flavonol, exhibited the highest peak urine concentration (C) of 1315 pg/mg creatinine, followed by quercetin-3-rhamnoside, quercetin-3-arabinoside, myricetin-3-arabinoside, and myricetin-3-galactoside. Quercetin-3-arabinoside showed delayed clearance, C at 237 min (T), relative to other flavonols (90-151 min). Both aglycone and the conjugated sugar moiety structure mediate the flavonol's bioavailability. Interindividual variation for bioavailability and clearance is also apparent. Metabolites, e.g. glucoronides, were not detected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.6b03611DOI Listing
October 2016

Exploiting genotyping by sequencing to characterize the genomic structure of the American cranberry through high-density linkage mapping.

BMC Genomics 2016 06 13;17:451. Epub 2016 Jun 13.

Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Background: The application of genotyping by sequencing (GBS) approaches, combined with data imputation methodologies, is narrowing the genetic knowledge gap between major and understudied, minor crops. GBS is an excellent tool to characterize the genomic structure of recently domesticated (~200 years) and understudied species, such as cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.), by generating large numbers of markers for genomic studies such as genetic mapping.

Results: We identified 10842 potentially mappable single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a cranberry pseudo-testcross population wherein 5477 SNPs and 211 short sequence repeats (SSRs) were used to construct a high density linkage map in cranberry of which a total of 4849 markers were mapped. Recombination frequency, linkage disequilibrium (LD), and segregation distortion at the genomic level in the parental and integrated linkage maps were characterized for first time in cranberry. SSR markers, used as the backbone in the map, revealed high collinearity with previously published linkage maps. The 4849 point map consisted of twelve linkage groups spanning 1112 cM, which anchored 2381 nuclear scaffolds accounting for ~13 Mb of the estimated 470 Mb cranberry genome. Bin mapping identified 592 and 672 unique bins in the parentals and a total of 1676 unique marker positions in the integrated map. Synteny analyses comparing the order of anchored cranberry scaffolds to their homologous positions in kiwifruit, grape, and coffee genomes provided initial evidence of homology between cranberry and closely related species.

Conclusions: GBS data was used to rapidly saturate the cranberry genome with markers in a pseudo-testcross population. Collinearity between the present saturated genetic map and previous cranberry SSR maps suggests that the SNP locations represent accurate marker order and chromosome structure of the cranberry genome. SNPs greatly improved current marker genome coverage, which allowed for genome-wide structure investigations such as segregation distortion, recombination, linkage disequilibrium, and synteny analyses. In the future, GBS can be used to accelerate cranberry molecular breeding through QTL mapping and genome-wide association studies (GWAS).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-016-2802-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4906896PMC
June 2016

Influence of Degree-of-Polymerization and Linkage on the Quantification of Proanthocyanidins using 4-Dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde (DMAC) Assay.

J Agric Food Chem 2016 Mar 9;64(11):2190-9. Epub 2016 Mar 9.

Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers University , New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, United States.

Proanthocyanidins (PACs) are naturally occurring flavonoids possessing health beneficial bioactivities. Their quantification often utilizes the 4-dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde (DMAC) spectrophotometric assay with the assumption that molar absorption coefficients (MACs) are similar across the various PAC species. To assess the validity of this assumption, individual PAC monomers and oligomers were examined for their absorbance response with DMAC. Our results have shown that PAC dimers and trimers with interflavan linkage variations exhibited differential absorbance response. Absence of A-type linkage between the terminal and second units in PAC molecule not only impacts absorbance intensity at 640 nm but also elicits a prominent secondary 440 nm absorbance peak. Cranberry (A-type) and cocoa (B-type) oligomeric PACs exhibited differential absorbance (MACs) relationship with degree-of-polymerization. Thus, PAC structural variations have considerable impact on the resulting MAC. The use of DMAC assay in PAC quantification, especially in comparing across specific oligomers and compositions, should not assume MACs are similar.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.5b05408DOI Listing
March 2016

Cranberry Flavonoids Modulate Cariogenic Properties of Mixed-Species Biofilm through Exopolysaccharides-Matrix Disruption.

PLoS One 2015 29;10(12):e0145844. Epub 2015 Dec 29.

Biofilm Research Labs, Department of Orthodontics and Divisions of Pediatric Dentistry & Community Oral Health, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

The exopolysaccharides (EPS) produced by Streptococcus mutans-derived glucosyltransferases (Gtfs) are essential virulence factors associated with the initiation of cariogenic biofilms. EPS forms the core of the biofilm matrix-scaffold, providing mechanical stability while facilitating the creation of localized acidic microenvironments. Cranberry flavonoids, such as A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs) and myricetin, have been shown to inhibit the activity of Gtfs and EPS-mediated bacterial adhesion without killing the organisms. Here, we investigated whether a combination of cranberry flavonoids disrupts EPS accumulation and S. mutans survival using a mixed-species biofilm model under cariogenic conditions. We also assessed the impact of cranberry flavonoids on mechanical stability and the in situ pH at the biofilm-apatite interface. Topical application of an optimized combination of PACs oligomers (100-300 μM) with myricetin (2 mM) twice daily was used to simulate treatment regimen experienced clinically. Treatments with cranberry flavonoids effectively reduced the insoluble EPS content (>80% reduction vs. vehicle-control; p<0.001), while hindering S. mutans outgrowth within mixed-species biofilms. As a result, the 3D architecture of cranberry-treated biofilms was severely compromised, showing a defective EPS-matrix and failure to develop microcolonies on the saliva-coated hydroxyapatite (sHA) surface. Furthermore, topical applications of cranberry flavonoids significantly weaken the mechanical stability of the biofilms; nearly 90% of the biofilm was removed from sHA surface after exposure to a shear stress of 0.449 N/m2 (vs. 36% removal in vehicle-treated biofilms). Importantly, in situ pH measurements in cranberry-treated biofilms showed significantly higher pH values (5.2 ± 0.1) at the biofilm-apatite interface vs. vehicle-treated biofilms (4.6 ± 0.1). Altogether, the data provide important insights on how cranberry flavonoids treatments modulate virulence properties by disrupting the biochemical and ecological changes associated with cariogenic biofilm development, which could lead to new alternative or adjunctive antibiofilm/anticaries chemotherapeutic formulations.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0145844PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4699891PMC
July 2016

Interactions between cranberries and fungi: the proposed function of organic acids in virulence suppression of fruit rot fungi.

Front Microbiol 2015 14;6:835. Epub 2015 Aug 14.

Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

Cranberry fruit are a rich source of bioactive compounds that may function as constitutive or inducible barriers against rot-inducing fungi. The content and composition of these compounds change as the season progresses. Several necrotrophic fungi cause cranberry fruit rot disease complex. These fungi remain mostly asymptomatic until the fruit begins to mature in late August. Temporal fluctuations and quantitative differences in selected organic acid profiles between fruit of six cranberry genotypes during the growing season were observed. The concentration of benzoic acid in fruit increased while quinic acid decreased throughout fruit development. In general, more rot-resistant genotypes (RR) showed higher levels of benzoic acid early in fruit development and more gradual decline in quinic acid levels than that observed in the more rot-susceptible genotypes. We evaluated antifungal activities of selected cranberry constituents and found that most bioactive compounds either had no effects or stimulated growth or reactive oxygen species (ROS) secretion of four tested cranberry fruit rot fungi, while benzoic acid and quinic acid reduced growth and suppressed secretion of ROS by these fungi. We propose that variation in the levels of ROS suppressive compounds, such as benzoic and quinic acids, may influence virulence by the fruit rot fungi. Selection for crops that maintain high levels of virulence suppressive compounds could yield new disease resistant varieties. This could represent a new strategy for control of disease caused by necrotrophic pathogens that exhibit a latent or endophytic phase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2015.00835DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4536381PMC
August 2015

The cranberry flavonoids PAC DP-9 and quercetin aglycone induce cytotoxicity and cell cycle arrest and increase cisplatin sensitivity in ovarian cancer cells.

Int J Oncol 2015 May 17;46(5):1924-34. Epub 2015 Mar 17.

Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA.

Cranberry flavonoids (flavonols and flavan-3-ols), in addition to their antioxidant properties, have been shown to possess potential in vitro activity against several cancers. However, the difficulty of isolating cranberry compounds has largely limited anticancer research to crude fractions without well-defined compound composition. In this study, individual cranberry flavonoids were isolated to the highest purity achieved so far using gravity and high performance column chromatography and LC-MS characterization. MTS assay indicated differential cell viability reduction of SKOV-3 and OVCAR-8 ovarian cancer cells treated with individual cranberry flavonoids. Treatment with quercetin aglycone and PAC DP-9, which exhibited the strongest activity, induced apoptosis, led to caspase-3 activation and PARP deactivation, and increased sensitivity to cisplatin. Furthermore, immunofluorescence microscopy and western blot study revealed reduced expression and activation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in PAC DP-9 treated SKOV-3 cells. In addition, quercetin aglycone and PAC DP-9 deactivated MAPK-ERK pathway, induced downregulation of cyclin D1, DNA-PK, phospho-histone H3 and upregulation of p21, and arrested cell cycle progression. Overall, this study demonstrates promising in vitro cytotoxic and anti-proliferative properties of two newly characterized cranberry flavonoids, quercetin aglycone and PAC DP-9, against ovarian cancer cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ijo.2015.2931DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4383025PMC
May 2015

Development and validation of 697 novel polymorphic genomic and EST-SSR markers in the American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.).

Molecules 2015 Jan 27;20(2):2001-13. Epub 2015 Jan 27.

Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1575 Linden Dr. Madison, WI 53706, USA.

The American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait., is an economically important North American fruit crop that is consumed because of its unique flavor and potential health benefits. However, a lack of abundant, genome-wide molecular markers has limited the adoption of modern molecular assisted selection approaches in cranberry breeding programs. To increase the number of available markers in the species, this study identified, tested, and validated microsatellite markers from existing nuclear and transcriptome sequencing data. In total, new primers were designed, synthesized, and tested for 979 SSR loci; 697 of the markers amplified allele patterns consistent with single locus segregation in a diploid organism and were considered polymorphic. Of the 697 polymorphic loci, 507 were selected for additional genetic diversity and segregation analyses in 29 cranberry genotypes. More than 95% of the 507 loci did not display segregation distortion at the p < 0.05 level, and contained moderate to high levels of polymorphism with a polymorphic information content >0.25. This comprehensive collection of developed and validated microsatellite loci represents a substantial addition to the molecular tools available for geneticists, genomicists, and breeders in cranberry and Vaccinium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules20022001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6272188PMC
January 2015

The American cranberry: first insights into the whole genome of a species adapted to bog habitat.

BMC Plant Biol 2014 Jun 13;14:165. Epub 2014 Jun 13.

USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables Lab, 125A Lake Oswego Rd,, Chatsworth, New Jersey 08019, USA.

Background: The American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) is one of only three widely-cultivated fruit crops native to North America- the other two are blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) and native grape (Vitis spp.). In terms of taxonomy, cranberries are in the core Ericales, an order for which genome sequence data are currently lacking. In addition, cranberries produce a host of important polyphenolic secondary compounds, some of which are beneficial to human health. Whereas next-generation sequencing technology is allowing the advancement of whole-genome sequencing, one major obstacle to the successful assembly from short-read sequence data of complex diploid (and higher ploidy) organisms is heterozygosity. Cranberry has the advantage of being diploid (2n = 2x = 24) and self-fertile. To minimize the issue of heterozygosity, we sequenced the genome of a fifth-generation inbred genotype (F ≥ 0.97) derived from five generations of selfing originating from the cultivar Ben Lear.

Results: The genome size of V. macrocarpon has been estimated to be about 470 Mb. Genomic sequences were assembled into 229,745 scaffolds representing 420 Mbp (N50 = 4,237 bp) with 20X average coverage. The number of predicted genes was 36,364 and represents 17.7% of the assembled genome. Of the predicted genes, 30,090 were assigned to candidate genes based on homology. Genes supported by transcriptome data totaled 13,170 (36%).

Conclusions: Shotgun sequencing of the cranberry genome, with an average sequencing coverage of 20X, allowed efficient assembly and gene calling. The candidate genes identified represent a useful collection to further study important biochemical pathways and cellular processes and to use for marker development for breeding and the study of horticultural characteristics, such as disease resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2229-14-165DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4076063PMC
June 2014

Variation in proanthocyanidin content and composition among commonly grown North American cranberry cultivars (Vaccinium macrocarpon).

J Sci Food Agric 2014 Oct 20;94(13):2738-45. Epub 2014 Mar 20.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA, 02747, USA.

Background: Cranberry fruit (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is rich in polyphenols, particularly oligomeric proanthocyanidins (PACs) possessing antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. PACs may play a role in resistance to fruit rot. Although many cranberry cultivars are grown for use in foods, beverages and nutraceuticals, data on PAC content among cultivars is limited. Eight cultivars were sampled from four growing regions during the 2010 season and analyzed for PAC content and composition.

Results: MALDI-TOF MS showed that isolated PACs had similar oligomer profiles among cultivars. The major constituents were A-type (epi)catechin oligomers of two to eight degrees of polymerization. Total PAC content ranged between 18 and 92 g PAC kg⁻¹ dried fruit, quantified as procyanidin A2 by the dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde method. Among the cultivars sampled, Howes had the highest total PACs (76-92 g kg⁻¹), followed by Mullica Queen and Early Black (48-82 g kg⁻¹). Ben Lear, a disease-susceptible variety, was significantly lower in PACs than the other cultivars (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Several traditional and newer cultivars of cranberry from various growing regions in North America are excellent sources of PACs, particularly the Howes, Mullica Queen and Early Black cultivars. PAC content may play a role in keeping quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.6618DOI Listing
October 2014

PT19c, Another Nonhypercalcemic Vitamin D2 Derivative, Demonstrates Antitumor Efficacy in Epithelial Ovarian and Endometrial Cancer Models.

Genes Cancer 2013 Nov;4(11-12):524-34

Molecular Therapeutics Laboratory, Program in Women's Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women and Infants' Hospital, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.

Hypercalcemia remains a major impediment to the clinical use of vitamin D in cancer treatment. Approaches to remove hypercalcemia and development of nonhypercalcemic agents can lead to the development of vitamin D-based therapies for treatment of various cancers. In this report, in vitro and in vivo anticancer efficacy, safety, and details of vitamin D receptor (VDR) interactions of PT19c, a novel nonhypercalcemic vitamin D derived anticancer agent, are described. PT19c was synthesized by bromoacetylation of PTAD-ergocalciferol adduct. Broader growth inhibitory potential of PT19c was evaluated in a panel of chemoresistant breast, renal, ovarian, lung, colon, leukemia, prostate, melanoma, and central nervous system cancers cell line types of NCI60 cell line panel. Interactions of PT19c with VDR were determined by a VDR transactivation assay in a VDR overexpressing VDR-UAS-bla-HEK293 cells, in vitro VDR-coregulator binding, and molecular docking with VDR-ligand binding domain (VDR-LBD) in comparison with calcitriol. Acute toxicity of PT19c was determined in nontumored mice. In vivo antitumor efficacy of PT19c was determined via ovarian and endometrial cancer xenograft experiments. Effect of PT19c on actin filament organization and focal adhesion formation was examined by microscopy. PT19c treatment inhibited growth of chemoresistant NCI60 cell lines (log10GI50 ~ -4.05 to -6.73). PT19c (10 mg/kg, 35 days) reduced growth of ovarian and endometrial xenograft tumor without hypercalcemia. PT19c exerted no acute toxicity up to 400 mg/kg (QDx1) in animals. PT19c showed weak VDR antagonism, lack of VDR binding, and inverted spatial accommodation in VDR-LBD. PT19c caused actin filament dysfunction and inhibited focal adhesion in SKOV-3 cells. PT19c is a VDR independent nonhypercalcemic vitamin D-derived agent that showed noteworthy safety and efficacy in ovarian and endometrial cancer animal models and inhibited actin organization and focal adhesion in ovarian cancer cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1947601913507575DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3877664PMC
November 2013

The American cranberry mitochondrial genome reveals the presence of selenocysteine (tRNA-Sec and SECIS) insertion machinery in land plants.

Gene 2014 Feb 14;536(2):336-43. Epub 2013 Dec 14.

USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Vegetable Crops Research Unit, 1575 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA. Electronic address:

This is the first de novo assembly and annotation of a complete mitochondrial genome in the Ericales order from the American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.). Moreover, only four complete Asterid mitochondrial genomes have been made publicly available. The cranberry mitochondrial genome was assembled and reconstructed from whole genome 454 Roche GS-FLX and Illumina shotgun sequences. Compared with other Asterids, the reconstruction of the genome revealed an average size mitochondrion (459,678 nt) with relatively little repetitive sequences and DNA of plastid origin. The complete mitochondrial genome of cranberry was annotated obtaining a total of 34 genes classified based on their putative function, plus three ribosomal RNAs, and 17 transfer RNAs. Maternal organellar cranberry inheritance was inferred by analyzing gene variation in the cranberry mitochondria and plastid genomes. The annotation of cranberry mitochondrial genome revealed the presence of two copies of tRNA-Sec and a selenocysteine insertion sequence (SECIS) element which were lost in plants during evolution. This is the first report of a land plant possessing selenocysteine insertion machinery at the sequence level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2013.11.104DOI Listing
February 2014

The specific degree-of-polymerization of A-type proanthocyanidin oligomers impacts Streptococcus mutans glucan-mediated adhesion and transcriptome responses within biofilms.

Biofouling 2013 22;29(6):629-40. Epub 2013 May 22.

Center for Oral Biology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA.

Cranberry A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs) have been recognized for their inhibitory activity against bacterial adhesion and biofilm-derived infections. However, the precise identification of the specific classes of degree-of-polymerization (DP) conferring PACs bioactivity remains a major challenge owing to the complex chemistry of these flavonoids. In this study, chemically characterized cranberries were used in a multistep separation and structure-determination technique to isolate A-type PAC oligomers of defined DP. The influences of PACs on the 3D architecture of biofilms and Streptococcus mutans-transcriptome responses within biofilms were investigated. Treatment regimens that simulated topical exposures experienced clinically (twice-daily, 60 s each) were used over a saliva-coated hydroxyapatite biofilm model. Biofilm accumulation was impaired, while specific genes involved in the adhesion of bacteria, acid stress tolerance, and glycolysis were affected by the topical treatments (vs the vehicle-control). Genes (rmpC, mepA, sdcBB, and gbpC) associated with sucrose-dependent binding of bacteria were repressed by PACs. PACs of DP 4 and particularly DP 8 to 13 were the most effective in disrupting bacterial adhesion to glucan-coated apatitic surface (>85% inhibition vs vehicle control), and gene expression (eg rmpC). This study identified putative molecular targets of A-type cranberry PACs in S. mutans while demonstrating that PAC oligomers with a specific DP may be effective in disrupting the assembly of cariogenic biofilms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08927014.2013.794456DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3709465PMC
October 2013

The first genetic map of the American cranberry: exploration of synteny conservation and quantitative trait loci.

Theor Appl Genet 2013 Mar 8;126(3):673-92. Epub 2012 Dec 8.

Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension, Rutgers University, Chatsworth, NJ 08019, USA.

The first genetic map of cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) has been constructed, comprising 14 linkage groups totaling 879.9 cM with an estimated coverage of 82.2 %. This map, based on four mapping populations segregating for field fruit-rot resistance, contains 136 distinct loci. Mapped markers include blueberry-derived simple sequence repeat (SSR) and cranberry-derived sequence-characterized amplified region markers previously used for fingerprinting cranberry cultivars. In addition, SSR markers were developed near cranberry sequences resembling genes involved in flavonoid biosynthesis or defense against necrotrophic pathogens, or conserved orthologous set (COS) sequences. The cranberry SSRs were developed from next-generation cranberry genomic sequence assemblies; thus, the positions of these SSRs on the genomic map provide information about the genomic location of the sequence scaffold from which they were derived. The use of SSR markers near COS and other functional sequences, plus 33 SSR markers from blueberry, facilitates comparisons of this map with maps of other plant species. Regions of the cranberry map were identified that showed conservation of synteny with Vitis vinifera and Arabidopsis thaliana. Positioned on this map are quantitative trait loci (QTL) for field fruit-rot resistance (FFRR), fruit weight, titratable acidity, and sound fruit yield (SFY). The SFY QTL is adjacent to one of the fruit weight QTL and may reflect pleiotropy. Two of the FFRR QTL are in regions of conserved synteny with grape and span defense gene markers, and the third FFRR QTL spans a flavonoid biosynthetic gene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00122-012-2010-8DOI Listing
March 2013

Insights into the molecular mechanisms of the anti-atherogenic actions of flavonoids in normal and obese mice.

PLoS One 2011 10;6(10):e24634. Epub 2011 Oct 10.

Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States of America.

Obesity is a major and independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and it is strongly associated with the development of dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Flavonoids, a diverse group of polyphenol compounds of plant origin widely distributed in human diet, have been reported to have numerous health benefits, although the mechanisms underlying these effects have remained obscure. We analyzed the effects of chronic dietary supplementation with flavonoids extracted from cranberry (FLS) in normal and obese C57/BL6 mice compared to mice maintained on the same diets lacking FLS. Obese mice supplemented with flavonoids showed an amelioration of insulin resistance and plasma lipid profile, and a reduction of visceral fat mass. We provide evidence that the adiponectin-AMPK pathway is the main mediator of the improvement of these metabolic disorders. In contrast, the reduced plasma atherogenic cholesterol observed in normal mice under FLS seems to be due to a downregulation of the hepatic cholesterol synthesis pathway. Overall, we demonstrate for the first time that the molecular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of flavonoids are determined by the metabolic state.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0024634PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3189911PMC
February 2012

Purified cranberry proanthocyanidines (PAC-1A) cause pro-apoptotic signaling, ROS generation, cyclophosphamide retention and cytotoxicity in high-risk neuroblastoma cells.

Int J Oncol 2012 Jan 6;40(1):99-108. Epub 2011 Oct 6.

Department of Plant Biology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA.

Optimized purification of oligomeric proanthocyanidines (PAC) from cranberry generated PAC-1A which selectively affected the viability of various neuroblastoma (NB) cell lines representing a spectrum of high-risk NB features. PAC-1A caused a loss of mitochondrial transmembrane depolarization potential (∆Ψm) and increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which was directly correlated to the modulation of apoptotic marker proteins in SMS-KCNR cells. PAC-1A reduced the expression of pro-survival (Bcl-2, MCL-1, Bcl-xL) and increased levels of pro-apoptotic (Bax, Bad, Bid) Bcl family proteins, upregulated the activity of SAPK/JNK MAPK and downregulated expression or activity of PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway components. PAC-1A increased the cellular uptake/retention of cyclophosphamide (CP). PAC-1A and CP synergistically increased cytotoxicity and expression of pro-apoptotic markers, reduced cellular glutathione (GSH) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels. Additional features of PAC-1A as an anticancer drug as shown in SMS-KCNR NB cells include delay of cell cycle progression and induction of cell death via TNF-family death receptor activity, thus, targeting both the extrinsic and intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. PAC-1A partially blocked the cell cycle in G2/M phase which correlated with a decrease of the G0/G1 subpopulation, upregulation of cyclin D1 and downregulation of CDK6 and p27 expression. In summary, PAC-1A has demonstrated chemotherapeutic potential to treat a broad spectrum of NBs including highly malignant tumors that show resistance to standard chemotherapeutics and apoptotic stimuli.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ijo.2011.1225DOI Listing
January 2012

Cytotoxic properties of Adamantyl isothiocyanate and potential in vivo metabolite adamantyl-N-acetylcystein in gynecological cancer cells.

Chem Biol Drug Des 2012 Jan 4;79(1):92-103. Epub 2011 Nov 4.

Molecular Therapeutics Laboratory, Program in Women's Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women and Infants' Hospital, Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI 02905, USA.

This study determined the in vitro potential of novel compounds adamantyl-N-acetylcystein and adamantyl isothiocyanate to treat gynecological cancers. Adamantyl-N-acetylcystein is postulated to be an in vivo metabolite of adamantyl isothiocyanate as dietary isothiocyanates are converted to N-acetylcysteine-conjugates. A viability assay suggested that adamantyl isothiocyanate and adamantyl-N-acetylcystein are cytotoxic to cancer cells including gynecological cell lines. A NCI60 cancer cell assay revealed that growth-inhibition and cytotoxicity of adamantyl-N-acetylcystein were cell line, but not tissue type-specific. Cell cycle studies revealed that adamantyl-N-acetylcystein and adamantyl isothiocyanate arrest SKOV-3 ovarian cancer cells in G2/M phase. By TUNEL, immunoblotting, and viability studies employing caspase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors, we proved that reduction in SKOV-3 viability is a consequence of DNA fragmentation and apoptosis. Cytotoxic action of adamantyl-N-acetylcystein in SKOV-3 and endometrial cancer (ECC-1, RL95-2, AN3CA, and KLE) cells required excess generation of reactive oxygen species which could be blocked by antioxidant co-treatment. Adamantyl-N-acetylcystein treatment led to modified expression or activation of apoptotic and oncogenic proteins such as JNK/SAPK, AKT, XIAP, and EGF-R for SKOV-3 and JNK/SAPK and ERK1/2 for ECC-1 cells. We suggest the further development of adamantyl-N-acetylcystein by sensitizing cells to the drug using signaling inhibitors or redox-modulating agents and by evaluating the drug efficacy in ovarian and endometrial in-vivo tumor models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-0285.2011.01251.xDOI Listing
January 2012

Anti-angiogenic activity of cranberry proanthocyanidins and cytotoxic properties in ovarian cancer cells.

Int J Oncol 2012 Jan 12;40(1):227-35. Epub 2011 Sep 12.

Molecular Therapeutics Laboratory, Program in Women's Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Providence, RI 02905, USA.

Cranberry extracts may provide beneficial health effects in the treatment of various diseases, including cancer. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of antineoplastic properties are not understood. We report the effect of a proanthocyanidin (PAC)-rich isolate from cranberry (PAC-1) as a therapeutic agent with dual activity to target both ovarian cancer viability and angiogenesis in vitro. PAC-1 treatment of chemotherapy-resistant SKOV-3 cells blocked cell cycle progression through the G2/M phase, increased the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and induced apoptosis through activation of intrinsic and extrinsic pathway components. Cytotoxicity of PAC-1 was partially based on ROS generation and could be blocked by co-treatment with antioxidant glutathione. PAC-1 reduced the cell viability of both SKOV-3 ovarian cancer cells and HUVEC endothelial cells in a dose-dependent manner and blocked the activation of the pro-survival factor AKT. Furthermore, PAC-1 blocked vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-stimulated receptor phosphorylation in endothelial cells, which correlated with the inhibition of endothelial tube formation in vitro. Our findings suggest that PAC-1 exerts potent anticancer and anti-angiogenic properties and that highly purified PAC from cranberry can be further developed to treat ovarian cancer in combinational or single-agent therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ijo.2011.1198DOI Listing
January 2012

Glycemic responses to sweetened dried and raw cranberries in humans with type 2 diabetes.

J Food Sci 2010 Oct;75(8):H218-23

Dept. of Biology, Winona State Univ., Winona, MN, USA.

This study assessed the metabolic response to sweetened dried cranberries (SDC), raw cranberries (RC), and white bread (WB) in humans with type 2 diabetes. Development of palatable cranberry preparations associated with lower glycemic responses may be useful for improving fruit consumption and glycemic control among those with diabetes. In this trial, type 2 diabetics (n= 13) received WB (57 g, 160 cal, 1 g fiber), RC (55 g, 21 cal, 1 g fiber), SDC (40 g, 138 cal, 2.1 g fiber), and SDC containing less sugar (SDC-LS, 40 g, 113 cal, 1.8 g fiber + 10 g polydextrose). Plasma glucose (mmol/L) peaked significantly at 60 min for WB, and at 30 min for RC, SDC, and SDC-LS at 9.6 ± 0.4, 7.0 ± 0.4, 9.6 ± 0.5, and 8.7 ± 0.5, respectively, WB remained significantly elevated from the other treatments at 120 min. Plasma insulin (pmol/mL) peaked at 60 min for WB and SDC and at 30 min for RC and SDC-LS at 157 ± 15, 142 ± 27, 61 ± 8, and 97 ± 11, respectively. Plasma insulin for SDC-LS was significantly lower at 60 min than either WB or SDC. Insulin area under the curve (AUC) values for RC and SDC-LS were both significantly lower than WB or SDC. Phenolic content of SDC and SDC-LS was determined following extraction with 80% acetone prior to high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and electronspray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and found to be rich in 5-caffeoylquinic cid, quercetin-3-galactoside, and quercetin-3-galactoside, and the proanthocyanidin dimer epicatechin. In conclusion, SDC-LS was associated with a favorable glycemic and insulinemic response in type 2 diabetics. Practical Application: This study compares phenolic content and glycemic responses among different cranberry products. The study seeks to expand the palatable and portable healthy food choices for persons with type 2 diabetes. The novel use of polydextrose as a bulking agent making possible a reduction in caloric content and potential glycemic response is also characterized in this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01800.xDOI Listing
October 2010

Tracing the history of plant traits under domestication in cranberries: potential consequences on anti-herbivore defences.

J Exp Bot 2011 May 2;62(8):2633-44. Epub 2011 Feb 2.

Phillip E Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension, Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, 125A Lake Oswego Rd, Chatsworth, NJ 08019, USA.

The process of selecting certain desirable traits for plant breeding may compromise other potentially important traits, such as defences against pests; however, specific phenotypic changes occurring over the course of domestication are unknown for most domesticated plants. Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) offers a unique opportunity to study such changes: its domestication occurred recently, and we have access to the wild ancestors and intermediate varieties used in past crosses. In order to investigate whether breeding for increased yield and fruit quality traits may indirectly affect anti-herbivore defences, the chemical defences have been examined of five related cranberry varieties that span the history of domestication against a common folivore, the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar). Direct defences were assessed by measuring the performance of gypsy moth caterpillars and levels of phenolic compounds in leaves, and indirect defences by assaying induced leaf volatile emissions. Our results suggest that breeding in cranberry has compromised plant defences: caterpillars performed best on the derived NJS98-23 (the highest-yielding variety) and its parent Ben Lear. Moreover, NJS98-23 showed reduced induction of volatile sesquiterpenes, and had lower concentrations of the defence-related hormone cis-jasmonic acid (JA) than ancestral varieties. However, induced direct defences were not obviously affected by breeding, as exogenous JA applications reduced caterpillar growth and increased the amounts of phenolics independent of variety. Our results suggest that compromised chemical defences in high-yielding cranberry varieties may lead to greater herbivore damage which, in turn, may require more intensive pesticide control measures. This finding should inform the direction of future breeding programmes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erq466DOI Listing
May 2011

Isolation of Specific Cranberry Flavonoids for Biological Activity Assessment.

Food Chem 2009 Oct;116(4):963-968

Philip E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension, Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, 125A Lake Oswego Rd., Chatsworth, NJ, 08019.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.03.062DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2749689PMC
October 2009

Influence of silicon on resistance of Zinnia elegans to Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae).

Environ Entomol 2009 Feb;38(1):129-36

Horticultural Insects Research Laboratory, Application Technology Research Unit, USDA-ARS, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691, USA.

Studies were conducted to examine the effect of treating Zinnia elegans Jacq. with soluble silicon on the performance of the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer). Z. elegans plants were irrigated every 2 d throughout the duration of the experiment with a nutrient solution amended with potassium silicate (K2SiO2), or a nutrient solution without K2SiO2. Length of the prereproductive period and survivorship of M. persicae were not affected by K2SiO2 treatment, but total cumulative fecundity and the intrinsic rate of increase (r(m)) were slightly reduced on Z. elegans plants receiving soluble silicon. Quantification of silicon content in leaf tissues using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) confirmed significantly higher silicon concentrations in plants treated with K2SiO2 compared with control plants. High performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) analysis was used to identify and quantify phenolic acids and flavonols in leaf tissue of Z. elegans. Compared with untreated control plants, significant elevations in 5-caffeoylquinic acid, p-coumaroylquinic acid, and rutin were detected in leaves of Z. elegans plants treated with K2SiO2, but none of seven other phenolics were significantly affected. Similarly, a slight elevation in guaiacol peroxidase activity was detected in plants treated with K2SiO2 Overall, these results indicate treatment of Z. elegans with soluble silicon provides a modest increase in resistance levels to M. persicae, which may be caused in part by defense-related compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/022.038.0116DOI Listing
February 2009