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Blood on the menu
Date:3/14/2012

nthocyanins without cold. Most blood orange cultivars originated directly or indirectly from Sicily, but one old variety, Jingxian, is of Chinese origin. In the Jingxian variety, the production of anthocyanins is dependent on a different mobile element, but again this is activated by cold.

"Our results offer little hope of conventionally breeding or identifying new varieties of blood orange that are free from cold dependency," said Martin.

"We are now experimenting with hooking the Ruby gene up with a specific fruit promoter so it can be induced in another way."

Blood oranges are a derivative of sweet orange, the most commonly grown fruit tree in the world. The current study, to be published in The Plant Cell, also confirmed that sweet oranges are a hybrid between the Southeast Asian pummelo and mandarin.

The research was funded by an EU project focused on flavonoids, FLORA, an EU project called ATHENA focussed on anthocyanins and polyphenols, a studentship from the John Innes Foundation, strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Italian Agronanotech project.

It led the scientists on an historical as well as scientific journey, unearthing the earliest paintings featuring blood oranges, 19th century botanical drawings and their earliest mentions in historic texts.


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Contact: Zoe Dunford
zoe.dunford@nbi.ac.uk
44-160-325-5111
Norwich BioScience Institutes
Source:Eurekalert  

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