Manipulating carotenoids can enhance plant progress, stress tolerance and enhance yield

Manipulating the content material of carotenoids, corresponding to ß-carotene, has been discovered to enhance plant progress and enhance yield and tolerance to abiotic stresses corresponding to drought and salinity.

Inside chloroplasts, carotenoids corresponding to ß-carotene and xanthophylls are key elements of the photosynthetic equipment. Now, a world workforce led by researchers in Salim Al-Babili’s group has proven that alterations in carotenoid metabolism affect hormone content material and subsequently plant growth and physiology.

Furthermore, the metabolic and hormonal adjustments led to the buildup of key major metabolites, bettering abiotic stress tolerance and fruit shelf life.”

Juan C Moreno, lead researcher

ß-carotene is produced by the motion of a gene referred to as lycopene ß-cyclase (LCYB). Having beforehand proven that expression of the carrot DcLCYB1 gene in tobacco elevated photosynthesis, stress tolerance, plant biomass and yield, Moreno wished to see if manipulation of LCYB exercise might confer related progress benefits in an economically vital meals crop.

Utilizing three totally different seed sources, all expressing totally different LCYB genes from tomato, daffodil and micro organism, the researchers grew vegetation underneath managed circumstances and outdoors in polytunnels.

The outcomes confirmed Moreno’s speculation that overexpressing the carotenoid gene in tomato would present related outcomes to his experiment in tobacco.

“Watching the vegetation within the greenhouse because the weeks and months glided by, the transgenic traces had been clearly totally different from the wild kind,” he says.

Fruit yield additionally elevated by as much as 77 p.c and dietary content material was enhanced, with fruit from the transgenic vegetation containing 20 occasions extra ß-carotene than the wild varieties.

“Using state-of-the-art chromatography and mass spectrometry methods enabled us to supply a complete image of the adjustments at metabolome degree, which defined the noticed phenotypes” provides Jianing Mi, who carried out the analytical a part of this examine.

The modified vegetation additionally confirmed enhanced tolerance to excessive gentle intensities, salt and drought stresses.

Working with Al-Babili, the researchers at the moment are attempting to use this know-how on cereal crops.

“This examine demonstrates the significance of understanding the metabolic processes that underlie plant progress and response to environmental adjustments, and exhibits the massive potential of plant metabolic and genetic engineering to fight deficiencies in micronutrients,” says Al-Babili.

The findings pave the way in which for growing a brand new era of crops that mix excessive productiveness and elevated dietary worth with the aptitude to deal with local weather change-related challenges.

The introduction of a single gene of the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway to totally different tomato cultivars led to vital adjustments in metabolic pathways, giant will increase in fruit yield and enhanced pro-vitamin A content material.


King Abdullah College of Science & Know-how (KAUST)

Journal reference:

Mi, J., et al. (2022) A manipulation of carotenoid metabolism affect biomass partitioning and health in tomato. Metabolic Engineering.

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