Salient Biotechnological Interventions in Saffron (Crocus sativus L.): A Major Source of Bio-active Apocarotenoids

  • Maryam VahediEmail author
  • Roghaye Karimi
  • Jitendriya Panigrahi
  • Saikat Gantait


Crocus sativus (L.) is considered to be one of the high-value spices cultivated around the globe, and hence is under scanner of the genomic approaches that have been used to study the identification, expression, and regulation of the key genes involved in its flower development and apocarotenoid biosynthesis. C. sativus flower contains in excess of 150 compounds of aromatic and vaporescent. It produces remarkable amounts of apocarotenoids, such as crocin, picrocrocin, and safranal, that exhibit a wide range of anticancer, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and cardioprotective activities. These apocarotenoids displaying such a wide range of pharmacological activities are of huge interest to culinary and pharmaceutical industries. Advances in biotechnological interventions, like genomic technologies, functional genomics, and transcriptomics studies, have revealed the expression of genes and/or structure, function, evolution, mapping, and editing of genes encoding apocarotenoid biosynthesis and enabled C. sativus genetic improvements in an efficient way through molecular breeding programs. The application of genomic tools and techniques has encouraged C. sativus breeders to adopt precision breeding approaches. The present chapter attempts to traverse across the recent developments in genetics and genomics-based researches conducted in C. sativus to perceive the biosynthetic pathways of its major secondary metabolites.


Crocetin Genetic transformation Picrocrocin Safranal Transcriptomics 



The authors are thankful to the anonymous reviewers and the editor of this chapter for their critical comments and suggestions on the manuscript.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maryam Vahedi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Roghaye Karimi
    • 1
  • Jitendriya Panigrahi
    • 2
  • Saikat Gantait
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Horticultural Science, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Engineering, College of Agriculture and Natural ResourcesUniversity of TehranKarajIran
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyShri A. N. Patel P. G. Institute of Science and ResearchAnandIndia
  3. 3.Crop Research Unit, Directorate of ResearchBidhan Chandra Krishi ViswavidyalayaNadiaIndia
  4. 4.Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Faculty of AgricultureBidhan Chandra Krishi ViswavidyalayaNadiaIndia

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