Light-dependent carotenoid synthesis in the tomato fruit

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(1) Light was excluded from growing fruits of normal red, high-beta, apricot, and tangerine tomato genotypes while attached to the vine in order to study the effect of light on the biosynthesis of carotenoids. (2) Pigment formation in the immature fruit of the normal red, high-beta, and apricot genotypes was inhibited in darkness. The carotenoids of dark-ripened, dark-grown fruits of the three genotypes are qualitatively similar to those found in either the light-grown control fruits or the dark-grown fruit which was further ripened in light. (3) β-Carotene was not detected in the immature dark-grown tangerine tomato and only a small amount of the pigment was present in the ripe dark-grown fruit. Lycopene and neurosporene did not accumulate in the dark-grown, dark-ripened fruit but appeared when the fruit was exposed to light probably due to the photoconversion of the poly-cis carotenoids to their corresponding all-trans isomer. The carotenoid composition of dark-grown, light-ripened tangerine tomato is identical with that of the light-grown control fruit. (4) Biosynthetic autonomy of chloroplast and choromoplast carotenoids was suggested. © 1976, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry