Why are the anti-cancer active substances of Eastern and Western peach fruits different

Peach fruit multi-omics analysis process. Photo courtesy of Zheng Guo, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Recently, the Peach Resources and Breeding Innovation Team of Zhengzhou Institute of Pomology, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences cooperated with Wuhan Maive Company to publish a paper in Genome Biology. The study took peach as a test material, and through multi-omics analysis, it was found that flavonoids, an important nutrient in the fruit, showed a downward trend in the evolutionary process with the decrease of bitter taste. By analyzing the in situ environmental information of different local varieties, it was found that amino acid substances played an important role in peaches coping with low temperature and drought stress. At the same time, the study unearthed key genes involved in the synthesis of flavonoids and valines, laying the foundation for functional fruits and resistant breeding.

Previous studies have shown that under the influence of natural and artificial selection, the types and contents of plant metabolites will change accordingly to benefit their own survival and human health. However, it is unclear which metabolites respond to natural and artificial selection.

The study found that in addition to citric acid, there were 16 metabolites with obvious differences in the eastern and western variety groups of the bred varieties, showing regional selection characteristics, of which 8 were reported to be related to anti-cancer activity. The analysis of anti-cancer activity in vitro confirmed that the western variety group had strong anti-cancer activity compared with the fruits of the local variety and the oriental breeding variety group (China, Japan and Korea). Combined with the mGWAS results, that is, 6 of the above 8 anticancer substances are located in the vicinity of the 5th chromosome acid content site, it is speculated that it may be that the choice of peach fruit flavor by Eastern and Western breeders and consumers has led to differences in the anti-cancer activity of different variety groups.

The research has been funded by the National Key Research and Development Program and the Science and Technology Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Researcher Cao Ke is the first author, and Researcher Wang Lirong is the corresponding author. (Source: China Science Daily Li Chen)

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