Breeding a Better Strawberry Fruit by Selecting Superior Germplasm via Assaying Anthocyanin Pigment Composition

Jenny Jing


Fruit of the cultivated strawberry, Fragaria x ananassa, are a good source of anthocyanins – antioxidant pigments that contribute to human health. Research suggest that anthocyanins may porvide protectionfro DNA cleavage, estrogenic activity, enzyme inhibition and further increase anti-inflammatory activity, lipid peroxidation, the production of cytokines (regulation immune response), decrease capillary permeability and fragility,and even strengthen cell membranes (Lila, 2004). In this study, 41 diverse representatives of strawberry wild and cultivated germplasm were measured for their cyanidin and pelargonidin contents by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The ratios of cyanidin to pelargonidin were calculated and it was confirmed that varieties of the cultivated strawberry, Fragaria x ananassa, had generally lower C:P ratios than the two ancestral species F. chiloensis and F. virginiana,. The F. chiloensis plant UNHC2 yielded the greatest C: P ratio as well as the highest amount of total anthocyanins. UNHC-2 and UNHH-5 were identified as accessions that carry genetic determinants of high anthocyanin and/or high cyanidin content, and/or high C:P ratio. Seventy-five percent of the total anthocyanins (130 μg/g fresh weight) in accession UNHC-2 were cyanidin, while accession UNHH-5 contained the highest amount of total anthocyanins (450 μg/g fresh weight) and pelargonidin (313 μg/g fresh weight). These identified germplasms provide valuable information for cultivars to breed an improved variety of the cultivated strawberry.


strawberry; anthocyanin pigments; germplasm

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