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|Title:||L-Tartaric acid synthesis from vitamin C in higher plants|
|Citation:||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2006; 103(14):5608-5613|
|Publisher:||Natl Acad Sciences|
|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|
|Appears in Collections:||Agriculture, Food and Wine publications|
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