Screening and selection of high carotenoid producing in vitro tomato cell culture lines for [13C]-carotenoid production

Nancy J. Engelmann, Jessica K. Campbell, Randy B. Rogers, S. Indumathie Rupassara, Peter J. Garlick, Mary Ann Lila, John W. Erdman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Isotopically labeled tomato carotenoids, phytoene, phytofluene, and lycopene, are needed for mammalian bioavailability and metabolism research but are currently commercially unavailable. The goals of this work were to establish and screen multiple in vitro tomato cell lines for carotenoid production, test the best producers with or without the bleaching herbicides, norflurazon and 2-(4-chlorophenyl-thio)triethylamine (CPTA), and to use the greatest carotenoid accumulator for in vitro 13C-labeling. Different Solanum lycopersicum allelic variants for high lycopene and varying herbicide treatments were compared for carotenoid accumulation in callus and suspension culture, and cell suspension cultures of the hp-1 line were chosen for isotopic labeling. When grown with [U]-13C-glucose and treated with CPTA, hp-1 suspensions yielded highly enriched 13C-lycopene with 45% of lycopene in the M+40 form and 88% in the M+35 to M+40 isotopomer range. To the authors' knowledge this is the first report of highly enriched 13C-carotenoid production from in vitro plant cell culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9979-9987
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 22 2010


  • Solanum lycopersicum
  • Solanum pimpinellifolium
  • carotenoids
  • isotopic labeling
  • lycopene
  • metabolic tracing
  • metabolism
  • nutrition
  • phytoene
  • plant cell culture
  • tomato

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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