Identification of onion flavonoid production factors and affiliated chromosomes

March 11, 2019

Addition of shallot chromosome to green onion results in high flavonoid levels– Future varieties with new functionalities and higher stress tolerance

A joint research group from Yamaguchi University, RIKEN CSRS, Tohoku University, Kazusa DNA +Research Institute and the Tokyo University of Agriculture cross-bred low-flavonoid green onion with high-flavonoid shallot, which are related Allium species, to create chromosome addition lines. A comprehensive comparative analysis on these lines was carried out for metabolite production and gene expression related to biosynthesis of flavonoids, which are involved in human health benefits and various types of stress tolerance. From these results, researchers were able to identify the chromosome and genes that strongly contribute to flavonoid production.

These findings will help elucidate the molecular mechanisms of green onion leaf sheath coloration and promote development of DNA markers for selecting colored varieties. Cultivation of new, colored green onion varieties would command higher unit prices due to added health benefits while added stress tolerance would increase yields from reduced stress damage, resulting in improved labor productivity in Japan.

Original article
Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/s41598-019-39856-1
M. Abdelrahman, S. Hirata, Y. Sawada, M. Y. Hirai, S. Sato, H. Hirakawa, Y. Mine, K. Tanaka, M. Shigyo,
"Widely targeted metabolome and transcriptome landscapes of Allium fistulosum–A. cepachromosome addition lines revealed a flavonoid hot spot on chromosome 5A ".
Masami Hirai; Team Leader
Yuji Sawada; Research Scientist
Metabolic Systems Research Team