Consumption of fruits and vegetables rich in health-promoting phytochemicals has been associated with the reduced incidence of age-related chronic disease states. Carotenoids, flavonoids, polyphenols, tocopherols (vitE) and vitamin C are all examples of he alth-promoting phytochemicals. Tomato fruit are one of the principal sources of carotenoids (e.g. lycopene and beta-carotene) in the western diet they also contain significant levels of other antioxidant compounds such as flavonoids and polyphenols. In the proposed project the biosynthetic pathways responsible for the formation of health-promoting phytonutrients in tomato will be studied at the gene, protein and metabolite level using modern omic technologies. A collection of transgenic plants and natural genotypes with altered fruit carotenoid levels will be use to elucidate regulatory mechanisms and pathway interactions.
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