Exploring the differential mechanisms of carotenoid biosynthesis in the yellow peel and red flesh of papaya

Yan Hong Shen, Fei Ying Yang, Bing Guo Lu, Wan Wan Zhao, Tao Jiang, Li Feng, Xiao Jing Chen, Ray Ming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Red-fleshed papaya is a good material to study the different carotenoids accumulation mechanism in the peel and flesh. Although the peel and flesh of papaya closely integrated into one body, the flesh coloration changing from white to red, while the exocarp coloration changing from green to yellow. In this study, the major carotenoids accumulation and the expression patterns of key carotenoid biosynthesis pathway genes in the process of papaya fruit ripening were studied, and the carotenoid biosynthetic pathways in the yellow peel and red flesh of papaya were investigated. Results: The carotenoid composition in papaya flesh and peel were different. The major carotenoids were lutein and β-carotene in the peel, while lycopene in the flesh. The accumulation of carotenoids, including lycopene, β-carotene, and β-cryptoxanthin were considered to cause the orange-red color of papaya cv. 'Daqing No.10' flesh. The color of peel changed from green to yellow because of the fast degradation of chlorophyll and the appearance of carotenoids such as lutein and β-carotene. Thirteen genes that encode enzymes in the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway were detected in papaya fruit transcriptome: two phytoene synthase (PSY1, PSY2), two phytoene desaturase (PDS1, PDS2), one ζ-carotene desaturase (ZDS), four lycopene cyclase (CYCB, LCYB1, LCYB2, LCYE), one β-carotene hydroxylase (CHYB), one carotene ϵ-monooxygenase (LUT1), one violaxanthin de-epoxidase (VDE), and one zeaxanthin epoxidase (ZEP). The results of RNA-Seq and RT-qPCR showed the expression of carotenoid biosynthetic pathway genes was consistent with the change of carotenoid content. Carotenoid biosynthetic pathways in the yellow peel and red flesh of papaya were analysed based on the major carotenoids accumulation and the expression patterns of key carotenoid biosynthesis pathway genes. There was only a β-branch of carotenoid biosynthesis in the flesh of papaya, while there were both α- and β-branch of carotenoid biosynthesis in papaya peel. In the process of papaya fruit ripening, the α-branch was inhibited and the β-branch was enhanced in the peel. Conclusions: The differential carotenoid accumulation and biosynthesis pathway genes expression in peel and flesh, lay a foundation for further study and provide further insights to control fruit color and improve fruit quality and appearance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number49
JournalBMC genomics
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 16 2019

Keywords

  • Carica papaya L.
  • Carotenoids
  • Coloration
  • Metabolic pathway
  • RNA-Seq

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the differential mechanisms of carotenoid biosynthesis in the yellow peel and red flesh of papaya'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this