REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0342.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Anthocyanin biosynthesis; biosafety regulations; colored vegetables; crossbreeding; gene editing; human health; transgenes
Online: 24 January 2022 (10:38:22 CET)
Malnutrition, unhealthy diets, and lifestyle changes have become major risk factors for non-communicable diseases while ad-versely impacting economic growth and sustainable development. Anthocyanins, a group of flavonoids that are rich in fruits and vegetables, contribute positively to human health. This review focuses on genetic variation harnessed through crossbreeding and biotechnology-led approaches for developing anthocyanins-rich fruit and vegetable crops. Significant progress has been made in identifying genes involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis in various crops. Thus, the use of genetics has led to the development and release of anthocyanin-rich crop cultivars in Europe and USA. Such a trend is emerging in the developing world. The purple pota-to “Kufri Neelkanth” has been released for cultivation in northern India, and a few colored grain wheat lines, developed through crossbreeding, are being tested for their productivity and adaptation. Although tomato is deficient in anthocyanins, some of its wild relatives are known to accumulate anthocyanins in their sub-epidermal fruit tissue. In Europe, anthocyanin-rich tomato cul-tivar ‘Sun Black’ developed via the introgression of Aft and atv genes has been released. The development of anthocyanin-rich food crops without any significant yield penalty has been due to the use of genetic engineering involving specific transcription factors or gene editing. The anthocyanin-rich food ingredients have the potential of being more nutritious than those devoid of anthocyanins. The inclusion of anthocyanins as a target characteristic in breeding programs can ensure the development of culti-vars to meet the nutritional needs for human consumption, particularly in the developing world.