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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Determinism of carotenoid accumulation

Carrot unstructured population for association genetics studies
Lack of knowledge on the determinism of carotenoid accumulation is a limitation for product and variety improvement for nutritional quality. Our research focuses on the identification of involved factors, mainly genetic factors but also the environnemental ones and the interaction genotype x environment.

In order to identify genetic factors responsible for carotenoid accumulation, we have chosen an a priori approach targeting genes of the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway. Further to our previous work on gene expression, the assessment of selection signatures on the biosynthetic pathway genes highlighted greater constraints selection for upstream genes of carotenoid pathway than for downstream ones, and a balancing selection for genes in the center of the pathway, this showing the importance of these genes in the metabolic node. Beyond understanding the evolution of the species, candidate genes related to carotenoid content were identified and studied for the nucleotidic diversity.  We have shown a geographically structured diversity and the absence of linkage disequilibrium decay in carrot. Candidate gene association genetics studies, based both on a structured panel of lines and an unstructured population, led to the identification of zeaxanthin epoxidase (ZEP), phytoene desaturase (PDS), β lycopene cyclase (LCYB ) and carotene hydroxylase gene (CYP97A3) genes involvement in carotenoid accumulation. Functional genetics studies are planned to confirm the role of major genes highlighted by association genetics.


Research is under way to identify environmental factors involved in carotenoid accumulation through the application of specific stress and the comparison of contrasted agro-systems environments. Besides the evaluation of GxE effect, a without a priori approach based on transcriptome chip aims to identify pathways influencing carotenoid accumulation in carrot et the regulation scale. In relation with other quality attributes, this research is integrated in a larger objective of controlling the nutritional and organoleptic quality of carrot.


reseau haplotypique

Haplotype sequence network for CRTISO gene (Soufflet-Freslon & Jourdan et al., 213- Plos One)