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Enrichment of tomato flavor by diversion of the early plastidial terpenoid pathway


We have modified the flavor and aroma of tomatoes by expressing the Ocimum basilicum geraniol synthase gene under the control of the tomato ripening–specific polygalacturonase promoter. A majority of untrained taste panelists preferred the transgenic fruits over controls. Monoterpene accumulation was at the expense of reduced lycopene accumulation. Similar approaches may be applicable for carotenoid-accumulating fruits and flowers of other species.

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Figure 1: Diversion of the plastidial terpenoid pathway in tomato fruit.


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This work was supported by a grant from the Israeli Ministry of Science and by research grant no. IS-3332-02C from BARD (United States–Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund). Publication no. 128/2005 of the Agricultural Research Organization, Bet Dagan Israel. We thank Donald Grierson (University of Nottingham) for kindly providing the polygalacturonase promoter construct. We thank Rivka Barg and Yoram Eyal for useful advice, Ayala Meir for carotenoids analysis, Inez Mureinik for editorial revision of the manuscript, and Avi Rikanati and Erez Unger for assistance in the statistical analyses.

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Correspondence to Yaron Sitrit or Efraim Lewinsohn.

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Davidovich-Rikanati, R., Sitrit, Y., Tadmor, Y. et al. Enrichment of tomato flavor by diversion of the early plastidial terpenoid pathway. Nat Biotechnol 25, 899–901 (2007).

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