Jan 20: Vegetables and fruits are fundamental components of human diets. They not only are important sources of essential vitamins and minerals, but also contain a wide variety of secondary metabolites important to human health. Colored vegetables and fruits have gained an increasing interest as functional foods, owing to their high levels of plant pigments with potent nutritional and health-promoting effects. Among them, purple and yellow cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var botrytis) is a very eye-catching vegetable.
College of Agriculture, Tripura, Lembuchhera introduced Beta Carotene and anthocyanin rich Cauliflower, Brocoli . Speaking with our reporter Professor,
Anthocyanins are responsible for the color of many flowers, fruits, and vegetables. An interesting and unique Purple (Pr) gene mutation in cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var botrytis) confers an abnormal pattern of anthocyanin accumulation, giving the striking mutant phenotype of intense purple color in curds and a few other tissues. To unravel the nature of the Pr mutation in cauliflower, we isolated the Pr gene via a combination of candidate gene analysis and fine mapping. Pr encoded a R2R3 MYB transcription factor that exhibited tissue-specific expression, consistent with an abnormal anthocyanin accumulation pattern in the mutant.
“Our results indicate that the genetic variation including a Harbinger DNA transposon insertion in the upstream regulatory region of the Pr–D allele is responsible for the up-regulation of the Pr gene in inducing phenotypic change in the plant” he said .
The successful isolation of Pr provides important information on the regulatory control of anthocyanin biosynthesis in Brassica vegetables, and offers a genetic resource for development of new varieties with enhanced health-promoting properties and visual appeal.
Why You Should Be Eating More Purple and Yellow Cauliflower?
Cauliflower, part of the Brassicaceae family – which includes broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale – is a super-food in its own right, packed with dietary fiber, folate and vitamin C. Over the years cauliflower has been bred in such a way that the head, or curd, develops without any of the natural pigments that would usually tint the bulbous head purple, green or orange.
“Cauliflower is unique in that the different varieties contain three of the four major food pigments found in plants and animals: Anthocyanin, beta carotene and chlorophyll,” said professor.
Riddle says not only do these pigments jazz up this otherwise drab vegetable but also they offer the body some interesting benefits.
“Beta-carotene, when consumed, metabolizes into vitamin A, which plays an important role in ocular heath. Chlorophyll is an antioxidant and acts as a sort of internal deodorant,” he says. Advances in vegetables breeding for nutraceuticals and quality traits