IBMCP scientists produce in plants large amounts of lycopene, a health-promoting carotenoid

Lycopene production in plants
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IBMCP scientists of the group of "Plant Virus Biotechnology" have engineered a plant virus to express a whole heterologous multistep metabolic pathway of bacterial origin in the cytosol of plant cells. Tissues infected with the manipulated virus accumulate large amounts of lycopene, a health-promoting carotenoid. This work illustrates the potential of plant viruses, whose genomes can be quickly and easily manipulated, for engineering complex metabolic pathways in their host plants. The results of this work have also showed that the enzyme phytoene synthase (crtB) from the soil bacterium Pantoea ananatis is an excellent yellow marker to visually track infection dynamics of plant viruses either alone or in in combination with other visual markers. Access to the complete paper at http://www.nature.com/articles/srep41645