Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 114, Issue 4, pp 693–704 | Cite as

Carotenoid biosynthesis structural genes in carrot (Daucus carota): isolation, sequence-characterization, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and genome mapping

  • B. J. Just
  • C. A. F. Santos
  • M. E. N. Fonseca
  • L. S. Boiteux
  • B. B. Oloizia
  • P. W. Simon
Original Paper


Carotenoid pigments are important components of the human diet and carrots are the main dietary sources of the vitamin A precursors α- and β-carotene. Carotenoids play essential biological roles in plants and the genes coding for the carotenoid pathway enzymes are evolutionarily conserved, but little information exists about these genes for carrot. In this study, we utilized published carrot sequences as well as heterologous PCR approaches with primers derived from sequence information of other plant species to isolate 24 putative genes coding for carotenoid biosynthesis enzymes in carrot. Twenty-two of these genes were placed on the carrot genetic linkage map developed from a cross between orange-rooted and white-rooted carrot. The carotenoid genes were distributed in eight of the nine linkage groups in the carrot genome recommending their use for merging maps. Two genes co-localized with a genomic region spanning one of the most significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) for carotenoid accumulation. Carotenoid biosynthesis cDNAs linked to root color mutations and to QTL for carotenoid accumulation may suggest a functional role for them as candidate genes. RACE PCR and reverse transcriptase PCR were used to amplify the full-length transcript for twenty expressed carotenoid biosynthesis genes and sequences were submitted to GenBank. The cloning and sequence information of these genes is useful for PCR-based expression studies and may point toward transgenic approaches to manipulate carotenoid content in carrot.



This research was supported by Initiative for Future Agriculture Food Systems Grant number 2000-4258 from the USDA Cooperative Research, Education, and Extension Service. The senior author acknowledges the generous support of the Gabelman-Shippo Distinguished Graduate Fellowship in the Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics Program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We are grateful for the proficient technical assistance of Douglas Senalik.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. J. Just
    • 1
  • C. A. F. Santos
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. E. N. Fonseca
    • 1
    • 3
  • L. S. Boiteux
    • 1
    • 3
  • B. B. Oloizia
    • 1
  • P. W. Simon
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics Program, and Department of HorticultureUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Embrapa-Semi-AridoPetrolina-PEBrazil
  3. 3.Embrapa-HortaliçasNational Center for Vegetable Crops Research (CNPH)Brasília-DFBrazil
  4. 4.USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Vegetable Crops Research UnitUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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