Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Found: The Apple Gene For Red

Date:
December 6, 2006
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
CSIRO researchers have located the gene that controls the color of apples -- a discovery that may lead to bright new apple varieties.

Apples.
Credit: Photo Scott Bauer / Courtesy of USDA/Agricultural Research Service

CSIRO researchers have located the gene that controls the colour of apples -- a discovery that may lead to bright new apple varieties.

"The red colour in apple skin is the result of anthocyanins, the natural plant compounds responsible for blue and red colours in many flowers and fruits," says the leader of the CSIRO Plant Industry research team, Dr Mandy Walker.

"Colour is a very important part of fruit marketing," she says. "If fruit doesn't look good, consumers are far less likely to buy it, no matter how good it might taste.

"As well as giving apples their rosy red hue, anthocyanins are also antioxidants with healthy attributes, giving us plenty of reasons to study how the biochemical pathway leading to apple colour is regulated."

A Post Doctoral Fellow with the team, Dr Adam Takos, used the latest molecular technology to measure how much particular genes were activated, or expressed, in apple skin as the fruit ripened and coloured.

"Apple growers have always known that apple colour is dependant on light -- apples grown in darkness or even heavy shade don't turn red when they ripen," Dr Walker says. "That made it very likely that the gene we were looking for requires light to be activated."

"By identifying master genes that were activated by light, Adam was able to pinpoint the gene that controls the formation of anthocyanins in apples, and we found that in green apples this gene is not expressed as much as in red apples."

In collaboration with apple breeders at the Department of Agriculture and Food in Western Australia (DAFWA), the scientists were able to show that fruit colour can be predicted even in seedling apple plants by measuring the form of this gene that is present.

The new knowledge about how apple colour is regulated will give plant breeders the opportunity to use these molecular marker tests to speed up apple breeding and select for improved fruit colour. Dr Walker believes that this research could open the way to breeding new apple varieties.

"With a better understanding of how apple colour is controlled we can begin to breed apples with new and interesting colour variations," she says. "We may even be able to breed apples that are better for you, though they already play an important role in a healthy diet!"

The research is a collaboration between CSIRO and the DAFWA, which has partly funded the project with a voluntary contribution. The project has been facilitated by Horticulture Australia Ltd (HAL) in partnership with industry and has been funded as part of HAL's 'across industry program'. The Australian Government provides matched funding for all HAL's research and development activities.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Found: The Apple Gene For Red." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061130190837.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2006, December 6). Found: The Apple Gene For Red. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061130190837.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Found: The Apple Gene For Red." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061130190837.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins