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Carotenoid Biosynthesis in Oriental Melon (Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa)

Department of Crop Science, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34134, Korea
Plant Systems Engineering Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB), 125 Gwahangno, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-806, Korea
Division of Life Sciences, College of Life Sciences and Bioengineering, Incheon National University, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 406-772, Korea
Department of Medicinal and Industrial Crops, Korea National College of Agriculture & Fisheries, 1515, Kongjwipatjwi-Ro, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 54874, Korea
Systems and Bioengineering, University of Science and Technology, 217 Gajung-ro, Daejeon 34113, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Foods 2019, 8(2), 77;
Received: 23 January 2019 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 19 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables)
PDF [1199 KB, uploaded 22 February 2019]


Full-length cDNAs encoding ξ-carotene desaturase (CmZDS), lycopene ε-cyclase (CmLCYE), β-ring carotene hydroxylase (CmCHXB), and zeaxanthin epoxidase (CmZEP), and partial-length cDNA encoding ε-ring carotene hydroxylase (CmCHXE) were isolated in Chamoe (Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa), an important commercial fruit. Sequence analyses revealed that these proteins share high identity and common features with other orthologous genes. Expression levels of entire genes involved in the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway were investigated in the peel, pulp, and stalk of chamoe cultivars Ohbokggul and Gotgam. Most of the carotenoid biosynthetic genes were expressed at their highest levels in the stalk, whereas carotenoids were highly distributed in the peel. The expression levels of all carotenoid biosynthetic genes in fruits of the native cultivar Gotgam chamoe were higher than those in the cultivar Ohbokggul chamoe, consistent with the abundant carotenoid accumulation in Gotgam chamoe fruits and trace carotenoid content of Ohbokggul chamoe fruit. Lutein and β-carotene were the dominant carotenoids; high levels (278.05 μg g−1 and 112.02 μg g−1 dry weight, respectively) were found in the peel of Gotgam chamoe. Our findings may provide a foundation for elucidating the carotenoid biosynthetic mechanism in C. melo and inform strategies for developing new chamoe cultivars with improved characteristics. View Full-Text
Keywords: β-carotene; carotenoids; Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa; chamoe; gene characterization; lutein β-carotene; carotenoids; Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa; chamoe; gene characterization; lutein

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Tuan, P.A.; Lee, J.; Park, C.H.; Kim, J.K.; Noh, Y.-H.; Kim, Y.B.; Kim, H.; Park, S.U. Carotenoid Biosynthesis in Oriental Melon (Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa). Foods 2019, 8, 77.

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