Carrot genome paints picture of domestication, could help improve crops

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Carrots are the richest crop source of vitamin A in the American diet. The accumulation of orange pigments is an accumulation that normally wouldn’t happen, says Simon, one of just a few carrot researchers around the world, along with another UW-Madison scientist, Irwin Goldman, who was not part of this study. Now, we know what the genes are and what they do. Additionally, the study confirmed a gene called Y is responsible for the difference between white carrots and yellow or orange ones, and that a variation of it leads to the accumulation of carotenoids. It’s a repurposing of genes plants usually use when growing in light, says Simon.

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