Enrichment of tomato fruit with health-promoting anthocyanins by expression of select transcription factors

Eugenio Butelli, Lucilla Titta, Marco Giorgio, Hans Peter Mock, Andrea Matros, Silke Peterek, Elio G W M Schijlen, Robert D. Hall, Arnaud G. Bovy, Jie Luo, Cathie Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Dietary consumption of anthocyanins, a class of pigments produced by higher plants, has been associated with protection against a broad range of human diseases. However, anthocyanin levels in the most commonly eaten fruits and vegetables may be inadequate to confer optimal benefits. When we expressed two transcription factors from snapdragon in tomato, the fruit of the plants accumulated anthocyanins at levels substantially higher than previously reported for efforts to engineer anthocyanin accumulation in tomato and at concentrations comparable to the anthocyanin levels found in blackberries and blueberries. Expression of the two transgenes enhanced the hydrophilic antioxidant capacity of tomato fruit threefold and resulted in fruit with intense purple coloration in both peel and flesh. In a pilot test, cancer-susceptible Trp53 -/- mice fed a diet supplemented with the high-anthocyanin tomatoes showed a significant extension of life span.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1301-1308
Number of pages8
JournalNature Biotechnology
Volume26
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Enrichment of tomato fruit with health-promoting anthocyanins by expression of select transcription factors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Butelli, E., Titta, L., Giorgio, M., Mock, H. P., Matros, A., Peterek, S., Schijlen, E. G. W. M., Hall, R. D., Bovy, A. G., Luo, J., & Martin, C. (2008). Enrichment of tomato fruit with health-promoting anthocyanins by expression of select transcription factors. Nature Biotechnology, 26(11), 1301-1308. https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt.1506