Molecular biologists say they have identified a gene in ripe strawberries that could help create vitamin-drenched, transgenic food of the future.


The gene, called GalUR, encodes an enzyme in strawberry plants that helps to convert a protein called D-galacturonic acid to vitamin C, according to a study led by Victoriano Valpuesta, of Spain’s University of Malaga, which is published in a specialist journal, Nature Biotechology.



Genes that had been tweaked to overexpress the enzyme churned out two or three times the amount of ascorbic acid, as vitamin C is called.



Other plants that use these genes could be engineered so that they too have high vitamin levels, the study suggests.

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