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Type: Journal article
Title: L-Tartaric acid synthesis from vitamin C in higher plants
Author: DeBolt, S.
Cook, D.
Ford, C.
Citation: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2006; 103(14):5608-5613
Publisher: Natl Acad Sciences
Issue Date: 2006
ISSN: 0027-8424
Statement of
Seth DeBolt, Douglas R. Cook, and Christopher M. Ford
Abstract: The biosynthetic pathway of L-tartaric acid, the form most commonly encountered in nature, and its catabolic ties to vitamin C, remain a challenge to plant scientists. Vitamin C and L-tartaric acid are plant-derived metabolites with intrinsic human value. In contrast to most fruits during development, grapes accumulate L-tartaric acid, which remains within the berry throughout ripening. Berry taste and the organoleptic properties and aging potential of wines are intimately linked to levels of L-tartaric acid present in the fruit, and those added during vinification. Elucidation of the reactions relating L-tartaric acid to vitamin C catabolism in the Vitaceae showed that they proceed via the oxidation of L-idonic acid, the proposed rate-limiting step in the pathway. Here we report the use of transcript and metabolite profiling to identify candidate cDNAs from genes expressed at developmental times and in tissues appropriate for L-tartaric acid biosynthesis in grape berries. Enzymological analyses of one candidate confirmed its activity in the proposed rate-limiting step of the direct pathway from vitamin C to tartaric acid in higher plants. Surveying organic acid content in Vitis and related genera, we have identified a non-tartrate-forming species in which this gene is deleted. This species accumulates in excess of three times the levels of vitamin C than comparably ripe berries of tartrate-accumulating species, suggesting that modulation of tartaric acid biosynthesis may provide a rational basis for the production of grapes rich in vitamin C.
Keywords: Idonate dehydrogenase; transcriptional profiling; organic acid; biosynthesis; Vitis vinifera
Description: © 2006 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA
RMID: 0020060185
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0510864103
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Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications

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