Special Issue "Carotenoid Biosynthesis, Regulation, Storage and Degradation in Plants"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Christopher Cazzonelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia
Interests: carotenoids; plant biotechnology; transcriptomics; epigenetic biology; gene regulation; genetic engineering; stress acclimation; mechanical stress; phytohormone signalling; tree genomics; horticulture; protected cropping
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants are natural chemical factories that synthesize health-promoting micronutrients such as the carotenoids provitamin A. Carotenoids are conjugated 40 carbon pigments synthesised in all photosynthetic organisms, as well as non-photosynthetic bacteria, fungi, aphids and mites. Carotenoids promote health, sexual behaviour and reproduction in animals, forming the basis of drugs, medicines, colours and flavours in food. For example, the carotenoid β-carotene (provitamin A)—derived from eating plants—is an essential dietary requirement for animals to make Vitamin A that promotes eye health.

In plants, carotenoids help capture light, and provide photoprotection and signal control over gene expression. Biosynthesis is required throughout a plant’s life cycle, with the composition and levels of carotenoids finely tuned to the environment and the stage of development. Carotenoids are synthesised and sequestered in plastid organelles such as dark-grown etioplasts, light-grown chloroplasts, leucoplasts from roots, amyloplasts from seeds and chromoplasts from fruits. Process that control plastid biogenesis, differentiation and/or operations of control can ultimately alter carotenoid accumulation. While carotenoid biosynthesis is well understood, the regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis and cleavage into apocarotenoid signalling metabolites has emerged as the next frontier in carotenoid biology.

Epigenetic and metabolic feedback regulation of the carotenoid pathway can alter carotenoid homeostasis, signifying essential functions for carotenoids in mediating development and/or responding to changes in the environment. Carotenoids can be degraded by enzymatic and non-enzymatic oxidative cleavage, generating phytohormones as well as mobile apocarotenoid signalling metabolites. Emerging trends in carotenoid biology are unearthing new apocarotenoid signals, their pathways for synthesis and their mechanisms of action. Some of these aprocarotenoids have recently emerged as bioactive molecules to treat human cancer (dihydroactinidiolide); induce plant herbivore resistance (loliolide); and control root development (anchorene), parasitic weed germination (strigolactone), growth (zaxinone) as well as stress acclimation (β-cyclocitral) in plants. This Special Issue of Plants invites submissions that address the above issues and describe new aspects related to carotenoid biology in plants.

Dr. Chris Cazzonelli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • plants
  • carotenoid
  • apocarotenoid
  • biosynthesis
  • regulation
  • signaling
  • plastid biogenesis
  • development

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Transcriptome Profiling of Ornithogalum dubium Leaves and Flowers to Identify Key Carotenoid Genes for CRISPR Gene Editing
Plants 2020, 9(4), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040540 - 21 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1363
Abstract
Ornithogalum dubium is a popular ornamental monocot native to South Africa with flower colors ranging from pure white to deep orange. Gene editing based on the CRISPR/Cas9 system has recently been shown to hold potential for color improvement in ornamental flower crops. To [...] Read more.
Ornithogalum dubium is a popular ornamental monocot native to South Africa with flower colors ranging from pure white to deep orange. Gene editing based on the CRISPR/Cas9 system has recently been shown to hold potential for color improvement in ornamental flower crops. To apply this approach to Ornithogalum color manipulation, genomic or transcriptomic data must first be collected. Here, cDNA libraries of O. dubium leaves and flowers were constructed and sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq 2500. Over 155 million 100-bp paired-end reads were assembled into a transcriptome database of 360,689 contigs, of which 18,660 contigs were differentially expressed between leaves and flowers. Carotenoids are the main pigment imparting spectrum of orange hues to O. dubium flowers. By querying our database, we identified a total of 16 unique transcripts (unigenes) predicted to be involved in the carotenoid biosynthesis pathway of Ornithogalum. Combining carotenoid profiles, we further inferred several key unigenes responsible for floral coloration and accumulation in O. dubium, of which the gene LCYB/comp146645_c0 was found as a suitable target to generate potentially red flower varieties of O. dubium. Our research thus provides a framework for the application of CRISPR/Cas9 technology to improve this ornamental crop. Full article
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Article
Effects of Exogenous Abscisic Acid (ABA) on Carotenoids and Petal Color in Osmanthus fragrans ‘Yanhonggui’
Plants 2020, 9(4), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040454 - 04 Apr 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 967
Abstract
Osmanthus fragrans is a well-known native plant in China, and carotenoids are the main group of pigments in the petals. Abscisic acid (ABA) is one of the products of the metabolic pathway of carotenoids. Application of ABA could affect pigmentation of flower petals [...] Read more.
Osmanthus fragrans is a well-known native plant in China, and carotenoids are the main group of pigments in the petals. Abscisic acid (ABA) is one of the products of the metabolic pathway of carotenoids. Application of ABA could affect pigmentation of flower petals by changing the carotenoid content. However, little is known about the effects of ABA treatment on carotenoid accumulation in O. fragrans. In this study, different concentrations of ABA (0, 150 and 200 mg/L) were spread on the petals of O. fragrans ‘Yanhonggui’. The petal color of ‘Yanhonggui’ receiving every ABA treatment was deeper than that of the control. The content of total carotenoids in the petals significantly increased with 200 mg/L ABA treatment. In the petals, α-carotene and β-carotene were the predominant carotenoids. The expression of several genes involved in the metabolism of carotenoids increased with 200 mg/L ABA treatment, including PSY1, PDS1, Z-ISO1, ZDS1, CRTISO, NCED3 and CCD4. However, the transcription levels of the latter two carotenoid degradation-related genes were much lower than of the five former carotenoid biosynthesis-related genes; the finding would explain the significant increase in total carotenoids in ‘Yanhonggui’ petals receiving the 200 mg/L ABA treatment. Full article
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Review

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Review
Carotenoids in Cereal Food Crops: Composition and Retention throughout Grain Storage and Food Processing
Plants 2019, 8(12), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120551 - 28 Nov 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1871
Abstract
Carotenoids are C40 isoprenoids synthesized by plants, as well as some bacteria, fungi and algae, that have been reported to be responsible for a number of benefits conferred on human health. The inability of animals and humans to synthesize de novo these compounds [...] Read more.
Carotenoids are C40 isoprenoids synthesized by plants, as well as some bacteria, fungi and algae, that have been reported to be responsible for a number of benefits conferred on human health. The inability of animals and humans to synthesize de novo these compounds is the reason why they must be introduced from dietary sources. In cereal grains, carotenoids are important phytochemicals responsible for the characteristic yellow colour of the endosperm, which confers nutritional and aesthetic quality to cereal-based products. Cereals are staple foods for a large portion of the world population, and the biofortification of cereal grains with carotenoids may represent a simple way to prevent many human diseases and disorders. Unfortunately, evidence exists that the storage and processing of cereal grains into food products may negatively impact their carotenoid content; so, this loss should be taken into consideration when analysing the potential health benefits of the cereal-based products. Focusing on the recent updates, this review summarizes the chemical composition of the carotenoids in the grains of staple cereals, including wheat, maize, rice and sorghum, the main factors that affect their carotenoid content during storage and processing and the most fruitful strategies used improve the grain carotenoid content and limit the carotenoid post-harvest losses. Full article
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