Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Orange' Cauliflower Gene Eyed As Nutrition Booster

Date:
January 25, 2007
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Can a gene from an orange cauliflower found three decades ago be the key to making food crops more nutritious? Quite possibly, according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist Li Li. She's using cauliflower to identify genes and define molecular mechanisms that regulate nutrients in plant-based foods.

High beta-carotene cauliflower.
Credit: Photo by David Garvin

Can a gene from an orange cauliflower found three decades ago be the key to making food crops more nutritious?

Quite possibly, according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist Li Li. She's using cauliflower to identify genes and define molecular mechanisms that regulate nutrients in plant-based foods.

Li, a molecular biologist at the ARS U.S. Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory (PSNL) in Ithaca, N.Y., is making significant headway using this gene--dubbed "Or" for the color orange--to induce high levels of beta-carotene in food crops. She and colleagues at Cornell University isolated the gene last year.

The research may make a huge impact on vitamin A deficiency, which has been reported to affect some 250 million children worldwide, according to Li. That's because beta-carotene, which gives orange carrots their color, is a carotenoid--fruit-and-vegetable compounds that the body converts into essential vitamins and uses as antioxidants beneficial to health. Humans convert it into vitamin A.

Li added that, in cauliflower, Or--which she described as a semi-dominant gene mutation--promotes high beta-carotene accumulation in various plant tissues that normally don't have carotenoids.

These studies can help researchers understand how carotenoid synthesis and accumulation are regulated in plants. This, in turn, can lead to strategies for increasing carotenoid content in food crops for improving human nutrition and health, she said.

The Or gene originates from an orange cauliflower plant found in a Canadian field nearly 30 years ago. ARS and Cornell scientists in Ithaca have been studying its genetics for about eight years.

Li's current work, which is partially detailed in the December issue of the publication Plant Cell, is part of a concentrated strategy at PSNL to apply genomics and related disciplines toward improving the nutritional quality and disease resistance of important food crops.

ARS is the USDA's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "'Orange' Cauliflower Gene Eyed As Nutrition Booster." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070125113543.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2007, January 25). 'Orange' Cauliflower Gene Eyed As Nutrition Booster. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070125113543.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "'Orange' Cauliflower Gene Eyed As Nutrition Booster." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070125113543.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — South Koreans eat more instant ramen noodles per capita than anywhere else in the world. But American researchers say eating too much may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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