Understanding Carotenoid Breakdown Genes in Peanuts Under Stress

Jim Crocker
15th May, 2024

Understanding Carotenoid Breakdown Genes in Peanuts Under Stress

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at the University of the Punjab identified 24 AhCCO genes in peanuts, classifying them into two subgroups
  • 23 out of the 24 AhCCO genes are regulated by 29 miRNAs, highlighting the role of miRNAs in gene expression
  • AhCCO genes are linked to light, stress development, drought stress, and hormone responsiveness, crucial for developing resilient crops
Carotenoid cleavage oxygenases (CCOs) are crucial enzymes in plants that facilitate the production of apocarotenoids, which are vital for plant growth, development, and stress responses. A recent study conducted by the University of the Punjab has identified and characterized 24 AhCCO gene members in Arachis hypogaea (peanut)[1]. This research builds on previous findings in other plant species, such as Arabidopsis thaliana, Saccharum, and apple, to provide a comprehensive understanding of the CCO gene family in peanuts. Carotenoids are pigments responsible for the coloration of flowers and fruits. They also play a significant role in the biosynthesis of plant hormones like abscisic acid (ABA) and strigolactones, which regulate various physiological processes. Prior studies have shown that CCOs are involved in these processes across different plant species[2][3][4]. However, the CCO gene family had not been characterized in Arachis hypogaea until this recent study. The researchers at the University of the Punjab identified 24 AhCCO genes in peanuts and classified them into two subgroups based on the classification system used for Arabidopsis thaliana. This classification aligns with earlier studies that identified similar gene families in other plants[2][3]. Notably, 23 out of the 24 AhCCO genes were regulated by 29 miRNAs, highlighting the importance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in controlling gene expression in peanuts. AhCCD19 was the only gene that lacked a miRNA target site. Further analysis revealed the physicochemical characteristics of the AhCCO genes, including their molecular weights and isoelectric points. The researchers also examined the chromosomal distribution, structure, and promoter cis-elements of these genes. They discovered that AhCCO genes are associated with light, stress development, drought stress, and hormone responsiveness, which are critical factors for developing more resilient crops. The study also investigated the cellular localization of the encoded proteins, finding that the peanut carotenoid oxygenase gene family expanded through tandem, segmental, and whole-genome duplication events. This expansion is consistent with findings in other plant species, such as apple, where similar duplication events contributed to the growth of the carotenoid oxygenase gene family[4]. The localization study showed that these genes are predominantly found in the cytoplasm and chloroplast. Expression analysis indicated that AhCCD7 and AhCCD14 genes exhibit the highest expression in the apical meristem, lateral leaf, and pentafoliate leaf development. In contrast, AhNCED9 and AhNCED13 genes are expressed in response to Aspergillus flavus resistance. These findings shed light on the evolutionary history of the AhCCO gene family and help researchers understand the molecular mechanisms behind gene duplication events in plants. An integrated synteny study was conducted to identify orthologous carotenoid oxygenase genes in Arachis hypogaea, using Arabidopsis thaliana and Beta vulgaris as references. This approach is similar to previous research that used synteny analysis to identify orthologous genes in other plant species[4]. The findings from this study provide a foundation for future research on the regulation and functions of the AhCCO gene family. In summary, the identification and characterization of the AhCCO gene family in peanuts offer valuable insights into the genetic regulation of these genes. This knowledge can be used to develop molecular markers for breeding programs aimed at creating new peanut lines with improved traits. The study by the University of the Punjab represents a significant step forward in understanding the role of CCO genes in plant growth, development, and stress responses, building on previous research in other plant species[2][3][4][5].

GeneticsBiochemPlant Science


Main Study

1) Genome wide analysis of carotenoid cleavage oxygenases (CCO) gene family in Arachis hypogaea (peanut) under biotic stress

Published 14th May, 2024


Related Studies

2) Characterization of three members of the Arabidopsis carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase family demonstrates the divergent roles of this multifunctional enzyme family.

Journal: The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology, Issue: Vol 45, Issue 6, Mar 2006

3) Genome-wide identification, characterization and expression analysis of the carotenoid cleavage oxygenase (CCO) gene family in Saccharum.


4) Genome-wide analysis of carotenoid cleavage oxygenase genes and their responses to various phytohormones and abiotic stresses in apple (Malus domestica).


5) Abscisic Acid synthesis and response.


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