Advanced search
Start date

Metabolic engineering to generate new orange fruits enriched in either lycopene or anthocyanins

Grant number: 14/23447-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2015
Effective date (End): May 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Leandro Antonio Peña Garcia
Grantee:María Lourdes Carmona López
Host Institution: Fundo de Defesa da Citricultura (FUNDECITRUS). Araraquara , SP, Brazil


There are sweet orange mutants that accumulate moderate levels of lycopene in the fruit pulp. However, when the fruit is processed, most of it remains in the peel of the juice vesicles and very little goes to the juice. Additionally, these mutants require cultivation under rather warm temperatures to accumulate good levels of lycopene in the fruit. There are also sweet orange mutants that accumulate anthocyanins in the fruit, making it purple and thus called blood oranges. These require warm temperatures during the day and cool temperatures at night to express the trait, but such conditions are very hard to find in Sao Paulo State. Furthermore, both types of mutants generally show low productivity and bad processing characteristics. The consumption of foods rich in lycopene and anthocyanins have been associated with a lower risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. Increasing the levels of those phytochemical in orange fruit of a readily known commercial variety through metabolic engineering could strengthen the fruit's health benefits. The genes governing the accumulation of such compounds in the fruit have been cloned; additionally, Dr. Peña´s group has recently characterized a strong and fruit-specific gene citrus promoter. This allows us proposing the following objectives for this project: i) Increasing the anthocyanin content in the fruit of Valencia orange, so that they show purple coloration regardless the environmental conditions of cultivation; ii) Increasing lycopene content in Valencia orange, so that the extracted orange juice shows red color regardless of the environmental conditions. (AU)

News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship:
Articles published in other media outlets (0 total):
More itemsLess items

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CARMONA, L.; ALQUEZAR, B.; TARRAGA, S.; PENA, L.. Protein analysis of moro blood orange pulp during storage at low temperatures. Food Chemistry, v. 277, p. 75-83, . (14/23447-3, 14/12616-9)
CARMONA, LOURDES; ALQUEZAR, BERTA; MARQUES, VIVIANI V.; PENA, LEANDRO. Anthocyanin biosynthesis and accumulation in blood oranges during postharvest storage at different low temperatures. Food Chemistry, v. 237, p. 7-14, . (14/23447-3, 14/12616-9)
CARMONA, LOURDES; ALQUEZAR, BERTA; DIRETTO, GIANFRANCO; SEVI, FILIPPO; MALARA, TATIANE; LAFUENTE, M. TERESA; PENA, LEANDRO. Curing and low-temperature combined post-harvest storage enhances anthocyanin biosynthesis in blood oranges. Food Chemistry, v. 342, . (14/23447-3, 14/12616-9)

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: