JIC Researchers Reveal Gene for Blood Oranges

Blood orange juice has been known to reduce oxidative stress in diabetic patients, protect DNA against oxidative damage, and reduce cardiovascular risk factors, just like other high-anthocyanin foods. However, the development of red pigmentation in oranges requires a period of cold prior to ripening. Thus, scientists at John Innes Centre isolated the gene responsible for blood orange pigmentation and named it Ruby. The team also discovered how the expression of Ruby can be controlled so blood oranges can grow even in sunny areas.

"Blood oranges contain naturally-occurring pigments associated with improved cardiovascular health, controlling diabetes and reducing obesity," said Professor Cathie Martin from the JIC. "Our improved understanding of this trait could offer relatively straightforward solutions to growing blood oranges reliably in warmer climates through genetic engineering."

Read the complete story at http://news.jic.ac.uk/2012/03/blood-oranges/.


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This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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