Zakharov Lab

Norisoprenoid formation in grape berries


Lab members involved in the project: Daniela Hampel and Anna Hjelmeland

Collaborators: Sue Ebeler from the Department of Viticulture & Enology

Project Summary: C13-norisoprenoids (e.g. ß-ionone, ß-damascenone) are key flavor components in many fruits, including grapes. These volatiles are thought to arise from carotenoid degradation.  The in-chain double bonds of carotenoids are highly susceptible to cleavage leading to a variety of apocarotenoids. While the chemical degradation of carotenoids has been extensively studied we are focusing on the enzymatic cleavage caused by carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases (CCD).

The CCD family is divided into of four sub-families (CCD 1, 4, 7, 8), initially identified in Arabidopsis, with variable cleavage specificity.  Our goal is to identify and characterize CCDs thought to be involved in the formation of volatile flavor compounds in grapes.  We are interested in substrate specificity, in gene expression patterns and in norisoprenoid profiling throughout grape ripening. Besides the molecular biological approach, we are also interested in isolating and examing native CCDs from fresh grape tissue. Elucidating the enzymatic carotenoid degradation by this multidisciplinary approach will aid in the understanding of flavor development in grapes.



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