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AP: Dihydrochalcones in Apple: Biosynthesis and their Application in Nutrition and Pharmacy (2011-2013)
Dihydrochalcones are one of the most abundant phenolic compounds found in apple mainly in leaves but also in fruits. Beside their proposed contribution to plant defence reactions against fire blight or scab, these compounds have been receiving attention in terms of human nutrition and health due to their activity within glucose metabolism/uptake. In collaboration with MRI Karlsruhe and NeweYaar Research Center.
MC-COFUND: Biochemical and Molecular Characterization of the Ellagitannin Biosynthetic Pathway in Raspberry and Strawberry (EllagiBiosyn Rosa) (2011-2014)
Ellagitannins are polyphenolic antioxidants found in certain fruits, trees, tea and medicinal plants. In many berry fruits, such as raspberries, strawberries or pomegranate, ellagitannins, besides anthocyanins, are the most abundant antioxidants and they have been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, Diabetes mellitus (type 2) or cancer. However, the pathway has not been examined at the molecular level and no gene involved in this biosynthetic pathway has been identified so far. In collaboration with Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg and University Bordeaux.
AP: Stilbene and Polyphenol Biosynthesis in Vaccinium spec. (PolyVacc) (2011-2013)
Blueberries and other Vaccinium species are rich in polyphenols such as flavonols, anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins. Moreover, some genotypes were found to accumulate considerable amounts of resveratrol derivatives. Due to its biological importance in human nutrition and health knowledge on the biosynthesis in Vaccinium will support breeding strategies for stilbenes and other polyphenols in this fruits.
AP: Genetics and Biosynthesis of Colour Pigments in Raspberry Fruits (RubuCOL) (2011-2013)
Fruit pigmentation is one of the most important quality traits in raspberry. Beside red, genotypes with variation in colouration that range from deep purple to yellow fruits are available. The later are often accompanied with a decrease or change in the pattern of volatiles, another quality trait important for consumers. The underlying mechanisms of these changes in metabolism is still unknown and will be investigated on the chemical, biochemical and molecular level with the aim to support the molecular breeding programme for new raspberry varieties at FEM.
AP: Flavour and aroma compounds in grape (2011-2013)
Volatile thiols and specific terpenoids are important contributors to wine aroma but also in plant defense. A clear understanding on the mechanisms behind the formation of these compounds and their precursors is still lacking. Biochemical, genetic and chemical approaches will allow the direct cloning of candidate genes putatively involved in the biosynthesis. The identification of these enzyme(s) will have a pivotal role in grape wine breeding and wine making. In collaboration with University Erlangen, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Food Quality and Chemical Ecology research groups at FEM.