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Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 611–625 | Cite as

The antioxidant properties of plant flavonoids: their exploitation by molecular plant breeding

  • Vincenzo D’Amelia
  • Riccardo Aversano
  • Pasquale Chiaiese
  • Domenico Carputo
Article
  • 329 Downloads

Abstract

Flavonoids are a large group of plant secondary metabolites that have a high popularity as nutraceuticals. Further, they contribute to food quality, acting as preservatives, pigments and strong antioxidants. Flavonoids also play an important role in plant stress tolerance, with consequent contribution to crop productivity. The enhancement of flavonoid content is an alluring goal that meets the food requirements of an increasing and more demanding world population. After illustrating the relevance of flavonoids for human nutrition, food technology and plant protection, this review covers breeding and molecular strategies used to exploit flavonoid biodiversity present among plant species. Highlighted here are also recent advances in genome sequencing and -omics tools that facilitate the identification of genetic regions influencing flavonoid production in relevant agricultural species. Finally, the review outlines established and new biotechnological techniques which can help to functionalize and use flavonoid genes to improve both the quality and the quantity of these outstanding compounds. The final message of this review is that flavonoids can be an interesting target for molecular plant breeding that can greatly impact both primary agricultural products and food technology.

Keywords

Agricultural production Antioxidant activity Phenylpropanoids Plant biochemistry Plant biotechnology 

Abbreviations

bHLH

Basic helix-loop-helix

bZIP

Basic leucine zipper

4CL

4-Coumarate:CoaLigase

CBF1

C-repeat/DRE binding factor 1

CRISPR/Cas9

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-associated protein-9 nuclease

DFR

Dihydroflavonol 4-reductase

F3′H

Flavonoid 3′ hydroxylase

F3′5′H

Flavonoid 3′,5′-hydroxylase

GWAS

Genome wide association studies

LNK

Night light-inducible and clock-regulated genes

MAPK

Mitogen-activated protein kinase

NAC

Non apical meristem

NADPH

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate

PAP1

Production of anthocyanin pigment 1

QTL

Quantitative trait loci

RD29a

Responsive to dehydration 29a

RONS

Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

SNP

Single nucleotide polymorphisms

TALENs

Transcription activator-like effector nucleases

TF

Transcription factor

VIGS

Virus induced gene silencing

ZFNs

Zinc finger nucleases

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincenzo D’Amelia
    • 1
  • Riccardo Aversano
    • 1
  • Pasquale Chiaiese
    • 1
  • Domenico Carputo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural SciencesUniversity of Naples Federico IIPorticiItaly

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