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Newly discovered molecular network regulates Vitamin C biosynthesis in kiwis

Kiwifruit (Actinidia) is rich in ascorbic acid (AsA; Vitamin C; Vc) and it is very popular with consumers. Interestingly, the fruit AsA content of different kiwifruit species varies up to 300-400-fold. However, the molecular regulation mechanisms of AsA synthesis in kiwifruit are still poorly understood.

Supervised by Prof. Zhong Caihong and Associate Prof. LI Dawei, Ph.D. student LIU Xiaoying from the Wuhan Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences firstly carried out systematic measurements of fruit AsA content in 48 kiwifruit species and found that the differences in AsA between kiwifruit species were mainly due to the extent of AsA accumulation in the early fruit development.

In addition, RNA-Seq, transient transformation, transgenic and gene editing were performed on kiwifruit with a high AsA content (six to ten-fold that of commercial kiwifruit) to uncover AceGGP3, a key gene for AsA synthesis in Actinidia eriantha (A. eriantha).

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