|Title||Designing a novel tomato ideotype for future cultivation in space manned missions|
|Publication Type||Articolo su Rivista peer-reviewed|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Authors||Pagliarello, R., Bennici Elisabetta, Cemmi A., Di Sarcina I., Spelt C., Nardi Luca, Del Fiore Antonella, De Rossi P., Paolini F., Koes R., Quattrocchio F., Benvenuto Eugenio, and Massa Silvia|
|Journal||Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences|
Introduction: Methods for production of fresh, health food are needed in view of long-term, deep-space manned missions. To this end, crops tailored for better performance under non-terrestrial conditions may be obtained by the exploitation of biochemical patterns related to specialized metabolites known to confer protection against environmental challenges and to be beneficial to human health. Methods: In this work, for the first time, MicroTom plants have been engineered specifically for agrospace applications to express PhAN4, a MYB-like transcription factor able to regulate the biosynthesis of anthocyanins that influence tomato genes possibly involved in agrospace-relevant functions. Results: PhAN4 engineering underpinned the genetic background of the dwarf tomato MicroTom while maintaining yield and photosynthetic capacity. PhAN4 expression resulted in the accumulation of anthocyanins and polyphenols, a differential carotenoid profile, increased antioxidant scavenging capacities of fruits compared to the original genotype. Improved ability to counteract ROS generation and to preserve plant protein folding after ex-vivo gamma irradiation was observed. Discussion: These results highlights that the manipulation of specific metabolic pathways is a promising approach to design novel candidate varieties for agrospace applications. Copyright © 2023 Pagliarello, Bennici, Cemmi, Di Sarcina, Spelt, Nardi, Del Fiore, De Rossi, Paolini, Koes, Quattrocchio, Benvenuto and Massa.
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