Carotenoids in mature green and ripe red fruits of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) grown under different levels of irrigation

Ralf M Schweiggert, Jochen U Ziegler, Ehab M.R. Metwali, Omar A Almaghrabi, Naif M Kadasa, Reinhold Carle


The effect of water deficit on concentrations of carotenoids was investigated in ripening tomatoes using HPLC-PDA. Fifteen different tomato cultivars were grown under three levels of water supply and unripe and fully-ripe fruits were harvested at different stages. Water deficit significantly affected several morphological and fruit yield-related parameters. In unripe tomato fruits, the relative concentrations of xanthophyll cycle carotenoids, e.g., violaxanthin and antheraxanthin, were significantly increased at the expense of β-carotene upon limiting the water supply. In ripe fruits, nutritionally-relevant lycopene, β-carotene and lutein levels were broadly independent of water deficit when considering all 15 cultivars, although significant variations were observed among fruits from different genotypes. Our study highlights the importance of careful genotype selection for the production of tomatoes rich in nutritionally-relevant compounds like lycopene and β-carotene.

Received: March 8, 2016; Revised: June 12, 2016; Accepted: June 20, 2016; Published online: October 31, 2016

How to cite this article: Schweiggert RM, Ziegler JU, Metwali EMR, Mohamed FH, Almaghrabi OA, Kadasa NM, Carle R. Carotenoids in mature green and ripe red fruits of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) grown under different levels of irrigation. Arch Biol Sci. 2017;69(2):305-14.


antioxidants; β-carotene; lycopene; lutein; vitamin A

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