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Review Article Open Access
Carotenoids are plastid-synthesized and localized lipid-soluble C40 tetraterpenoids universally distributed in the plant kingdom. These widespread pigments are integral and essential components of photosynthesis. Carotenoids are essential for photoprotection of plants which functions during photosynthesis and serving as precursors for the biosynthesis of the abscisic acid (ABA). Carotenoids are also very significant nutraceutical components of the animal diet and serving as precursor of vitamin A. Both mevalonate dependent and independent pathways for the formation of isopentenyl diphosphate are known. Genes encoding enzymes required for the biosynthesis of carotenoids have been identified. Even though most of the carotenoid biosynthetic genes have been cloned and identified, some aspects of carotenoid formation and manipulation in higher plants especially remain poorly understood. The topics of current interest are the progress and possibilities of metabolic engineering of plants to alter carotenoid content and composition in order to enhance the carotenoid content of plants to a level that will be required for the prevention of diseases which is a current need for research in both the basic and the applied aspects.
Protein engineering,Transcriptome analysis,Comparative transcriptomics