Carotenoids are important lipophilic antioxidants in fruits. Apocarotenoids such as α-ionone and β-ionone, which are breakdown products of carotenoids, are important for the flavor characteristics of raspberry fruit, and have also been suggested to have beneficial effects on human health. Raspberry is one of the few fruits where fruit ripening is accompanied by the massive production of apocarotenoids. In this paper, changes in levels of carotenoids and apocarotenoids during raspberry fruit ripening are described. In addition, the isolation and characterization of a gene encoding a carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase (CCD), which putatively mediates the degradation of carotenoids to apocarotenoids during raspberry fruit ripening, is reported. Such information helps us to better understand how these compounds are produced in plants and may also enable us to develop novel strategies for improved apocarotenoid production in fruits or indeed, alternative production systems.
|Publication status||Published - 2008|