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Relationship of carotenoids and tocopherols in a sample of carrot root-color accessions and carrot germplasm carrying Rp and rp alleles
- Koch, T.C., Goldman, I.L.
- Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2005 v.53 no.2 pp. 325-331
- Daucus carota, carrots, germplasm, plant genetic resources, carotenoids, tocopherols, alleles, chemical constituents of plants, roots, leaves, xylem, phloem
- Carotenoids and tocopherols are powerful antioxidants synthesized in plants from a common precursor. They may offer significant health benefits to humans. Seed oils have been shown to possess high levels of tocopherols, but little is known about their levels in the edible portions of most vegetable crops. A two-year field experiment was conducted at two locations to assess levels of major carotenoids and tocopherols in carrot (Daucus carota) root and leaf tissue. Levels of compounds in root tissue reported on a dry weight basis were as follows: alpha-tocopherol, 0.04-0.18 ppm; lycopene, 0.00-52.94 ppm; alpha-carotene, 10.63-1504.76 ppm; and beta-carotene, 26.69-1673.76 ppm. Higher levels of all carotenoids were measured in phloem tissue than in xylem. Leaf tissue levels of tocopherols measured on a dry weight basis ranged from 0.02 to 0.85 ppm, whereas levels of carotenoids ranged from 12.81 to 411.66 ppm. In xylem tissue, alpha-tocopherol was significantly (P less than or equal to 0.001) positively correlated with alpha-carotene (r = 0.65) and with beta-carotene (r = 0.52). This positive correlation indicates it may be possible to select for both increased alpha-tocopherol and carotenoids in carrot. The reduced pigment (rp) mutation of carrot exhibited a 96% reduction in levels of alpha- and beta-carotene and a 25-43% reduction in alpha-tocopherol when compared to a near-isogenic line. In plants homozygous for rp, a substantial increase was observed in phytoene, a precursor to carotenoids, suggesting the location of the rp lesion in the carotenoid synthesis pathway.