Molecular approaches for enhancing sweetness in fruits and vegetables

Scientia Horticulturae (Impact Factor: 1.5). 11/2010; 127(1):1–15. DOI: 10.1016/j.scienta.2010.09.014

ABSTRACT The quality of fruits and vegetables is mainly dependant on the sweetness determined by the level of soluble sugars such as glucose, fructose and sucrose. Other fruit quality parameters include Brix content, acidity, aroma, color, size and shape. Total sugar content in fruits and vegetables is a function of genetic, nutritional, environmental and developmental factors. Understanding the factors controlling sweetness is important to design strategies for enhancing quality of fruits and vegetables. Modifying the activity of enzymes in carbohydrate metabolism such as sucrose synthase (SuSy), acid invertase, ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPase), sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) and sucrose transporters were found to influence carbohydrate partitioning and sucrose accumulation in sink tissues of several food crops. Plant based taste-modifying sweet proteins such as brazzein, cucurmin, mabinlin, monellin, miraculin, neoculin and thaumatin have potential application for developing transgenic plants to improve the sweetness and quality of fruits and vegetables. The present review envisages various cultural, breeding and molecular approaches used for enhancing sugar content and sweetness in fruits and vegetables.

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