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Engineering the production of crocins and picrocrocin in heterologous plant systems

TitleEngineering the production of crocins and picrocrocin in heterologous plant systems
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsGomez-Gomez, L., Morote L., Fajardo C.M., Rubio-Moraga A., Frusciante Sarah, Diretto Gianfranco, and Ahrazem O.
JournalIndustrial Crops and Products
KeywordsApocarotenoids, Buddlejum davidii, Carotenoid, Carotenoids, cleavage, crocin, Crocus sativus, exploitation, Food additives, Gardenia jasminoide, metabolite, Metabolites, Optimization, Plant systems, Reaction catalyzed, safranal, substrate, Transformation, Zeaxanthin

Crocins and picrocrocin are high-value apocarotenoids rarely found in plants. Both are derived from zeaxanthin cleavage in saffron and Buddleja by a 7,8:7′,8′ reaction catalyzed by carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases (CCDs). Although crocins are generated as well from other carotenoid substrates as lycopene and β-carotene, in the case of gardenia. In recent years, there has been growing interest in the therapeutic properties and the potential applications of these apocarotenoids for a wide spectrum of diseases. Saffron is the main source of crocins and picrocrocin but its high price limits further exploitation by different industrial sectors. Competitive and sustainable production of these metabolites can be obtained by engineered plants with the 7,8:7′,8′ CCD enzymes. This review aims to bring together all the available strategies developed to produce these compounds in different plants systems, revealing challenges and limitations for further optimization of their yield and nutritional/industrial exploitation. © 2023 The Authors


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Citation KeyGómez-Gómez2023