Capsaicinoids: Pungency beyond Capsicum.


Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, 36570-900, Viçosa, MG, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


Capsaicinoids are metabolites responsible for the appealing pungency of Capsicum (chili pepper) species. The completion of the Capsicum annuum genome has sparked new interest into the development of biotechnological applications involving the manipulation of pungency levels. Pungent dishes are already part of the traditional cuisine in many countries, and numerous health benefits and industrial applications are associated to capsaicinoids. This raises the question of how to successfully produce more capsaicinoids, whose biosynthesis is strongly influenced by genotype-environment interactions in fruits of Capsicum. In this Opinion article we propose that activating the capsaicinoid biosynthetic pathway in a more amenable species such as tomato could be the next step in the fascinating story of pungent crops.


Solanum lycopersicum,biofactory,chili pepper,genome engineering,nutraceutical,tomato,

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