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Publications (5)19.36 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Vegetable cultivation favored the inclusion of pleasant aromas in the produce, whereas unpleasant aromas were selected against. Introgression lines, generated by hybridization of a cultivated tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) to its wild relative L. pennellii, were used to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) that influence tomato aroma. A marked undesirable flavor was detected by taste panelists in L. pennellii fruits and was related to an introgressed segment from the short arm of chromosome 8. Analysis of the ripe fruits' volatiles of chromosome 8 introgressed lines revealed an up to 60-fold increase in the levels of 2-phenylethanol and phenylacetaldehyde, as compared to the cultivated tomato. This effect was associated with a 10 cM segment originating from the wild species. Although 2-phenylethanol and phenylacetaldehyde have favorable contribution to tomato aroma when present at low levels, phenylacetaldehyde has a nauseating objectionable aroma when present in levels >0.005 ppm. The loss of the ability to produce high levels of phenylacetaldehyde contributed to the development of desirable aroma of the cultivated tomato. The findings provide a genetic explanation for one of the aroma changes that occurred during the domestication of the tomato.
    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 03/2002; 50(7):2005-9. · 3.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aromas of fruits, vegetables, and flowers are mixtures of volatile metabolites, often present in parts per billion levels or less. We show here that tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) plants transgenic for a heterologous Clarkia breweri S-linalool synthase (LIS) gene, under the control of the tomato late-ripening-specific E8 promoter, synthesize and accumulate S-linalool and 8-hydroxylinalool in ripening fruits. Apart from the difference in volatiles, no other phenotypic alterations were noted, including the levels of other terpenoids such as gamma- and alpha-tocopherols, lycopene, beta-carotene, and lutein. Our studies indicate that it is possible to enhance the levels of monoterpenes in ripening fruits by metabolic engineering.
    Plant physiology 12/2001; 127(3):1256-65. · 6.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melon varieties (Cucumis melo L.) differ in a range of physical and chemical attributes. Sweetness and aroma are two of the most important factors in fruit quality and consumer preference. Volatile acetates are major components of the headspace of ripening cv. Arava fruits, a commercially important climacteric melon. In contrast, volatile aldehydes and alcohols are most abundant in cv. Rochet fruits, a nonclimacteric melon. The formation of volatile acetates is catalyzed by alcohol acetyltransferases (AAT), which utilize acetyl-CoA to acetylate several alcohols. Cell-free extract derived from Arava ripe melons exhibited substantial levels of AAT activity with a variety of alcohol substrates, whereas similar extracts derived from Rochet ripe melons had negligible activity. The levels of AAT activity in unripe Arava melons were also low but steadily increased during ripening. In contrast, similar extracts from Rochet fruits displayed low AAT activity during all stages of maturation. In addition, the benzyl- and 2-phenylethyl-dependent AAT activity levels seem well correlated with the total soluble solid content in Arava fruits. Keywords: Aroma; volatile acetates; biosynthesis; alcohol acetyltransferase; melons (Cucumis melo. L)
    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 01/2001; 49(2). · 3.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L., Lamiaceae) is a common herb, used for culinary and medicinal purposes. The essential oils of different sweet basil chemotypes contain various proportions of the allyl phenol derivatives estragole (methyl chavicol), eugenol, and methyl eugenol, as well as the monoterpene alcohol linalool. To monitor the developmental regulation of estragole biosynthesis in sweet basil, an enzymatic assay for S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM):chavicol O-methyltransferase activity was developed. Young leaves display high levels of chavicol O-methyltransferase activity, but the activity was negligible in older leaves, indicating that the O-methylation of chavicol primarily occurs early during leaf development. The O-methyltransferase activities detected in different sweet basil genotypes differed in their substrate specificities towards the methyl acceptor substrate. In the high-estragole-containing chemotype R3, the O-methyltransferase activity was highly specific for chavicol, while eugenol was virtually not O-methylated. In contrast, chemotype 147/97, that contains equal levels of estragole and methyl eugenol, displayed O-methyltransferase activities that accepted both chavicol and eugenol as substrates, generating estragole and methyl eugenol, respectively. Chemotype SW that contains high levels of eugenol, but lacks both estragole and methyl eugenol, had apparently no allylphenol dependent O-methyltransferase activities. These results indicate the presence of at least two types of allylphenol-specific O-methyltransferase activities in sweet basil chemotypes, one highly specific for chavicol; and a different one that can accept eugenol as a substrate. The relative availability and substrate specificities of these O-methyltransferase activities biochemically rationalizes the variation in the composition of the essential oils of these chemotypes.
    Plant Science 01/2001; · 4.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Maize lines differ greatly in their composition and total seed content of tocopherols and carotenoids. When HPLC is employed for the determination of tocopherols, the carotenoids present in some of the extracts may not always be fully separated. It is observed that although tocopherols and carotenoids differ greatly in their UV-visible spectra, the absorbance of certain carotenoids might adversely affect the tocopherol determinations. A reversed-phase HPLC system has been developed that effectively separates α-, δ- and γ-tocopherol and avoids interference caused by the carotenoids present. The method is based on the utilisation of a low level of methanol in an acetonitrile:dichloromethane gradient in the presence of triethylamine. This method provides a reliable and accurate procedure for the determination of tocopherols in maize kernels. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Phytochemical Analysis 01/2000; 11(6):370-374. · 2.48 Impact Factor