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Monday, April 16, 2012
Retrotransposons Control Fruit-Specific, Cold-Dependent Accumulation of Anthocyanins in Blood Oranges
Traditionally, Sicilian blood oranges (Citrus sinensis) have been associated with cardiovascular health, and consumption has been shown to prevent obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet. Despite increasing consumer interest in these health-promoting attributes, production of blood oranges remains unreliable due largely to a dependency on cold for full color formation. We show that Sicilian blood orange arose by insertion of a Copia-like retrotransposon adjacent to a gene encoding Ruby, a MYB transcriptional activator of anthocyanin production.