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The main objective of the
Journal of Berry Research is to improve the knowledge about quality and production of berries to benefit health of the consumers and maintain profitable production using sustainable systems.
The objective will be achieved by focusing on four main areas of research and development:
1. From genetics to variety evaluation
2. Nursery production systems and plant quality control
3. Plant physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, as well as cultural management
4. Health for the consumer: components and factors affecting berries' nutritional value
Specifically, the journal will cover berries (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, cranberry currants, etc.), as well as grapes and small soft fruit in general (e.g., kiwi fruit). It will publish research results covering all areas of plant breeding, including plant genetics, genomics, functional genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, plant physiology, plant pathology and plant development, as well as results dealing with the chemistry and biochemistry of bioactive compounds contained in such fruits and their possible role in human health. Contributions detailing possible pharmacological, medical or therapeutic use or dietary significance will be welcomed in addition to studies regarding biosafety issues of genetically modified plants.
Journal of Berry Research will feature reviews, research articles, brief communications, position papers, letters and patent updates.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: During grapevine domestication somatic variation has been used as a source of diversity for clonal selection. OBJECTIVE: This work provides additional information on the molecular mechanisms responsible for berry skin color reversion on a subset of somatic variants for berry skin color never investigated before. METHODS: The berry color locus and its surrounding genomic regionwere genetically characterized through a layer-specific approach, which has already been proven to be a successful method to decipher the molecular mechanisms responsible for color reversions on somatic variants. RESULTS: Deletions of different extent and positions were detected among…less-pigmented/unpigmented variants derived from a pigmented wild-type. These deletions affected only the inner cell layer in the less pigmented variants and both cell layers in the unpigmented variants. Regarding the pigmented variants derived from an unpigmented wild-type, only one group was distinguished by the Gret1 retrotransposon partial excision from the VvMybA1 promoter. Moreover, within this latter group, VvMybA2 showed an important role regarding the phenotypic variation, through the recovery of the functional G allele. CONCLUSIONS: This investigation focused on the berry color locus using somatic variants for berry skin color, promotes a better understanding of the evolutionary events behind their origin and variability, opening an opportunity for their use in the genetic improvement of varieties.
Keywords: Berry skin color, grapevine, L1 and L2 cell layers, MYB genes, somatic mutation, SSR markers
Abstract: Berries and their phytochemicals have well documented chemopreventive roles, but understanding their ability to regulate cancer immunology is only beginning to be explored. The literature, including human studies, suggests that berry components can modulate our immune system to delay cancer development. Moreover, their wide spectrum of phytochemicals suggests that they might influence the functions of multiple immune cells and different aspects of cancer immunity. Cancer immune-therapies are showing promise for some types of cancer because they boost T cells’ ability to recognize tumor cells – an essential prelude to destruction. Recognition occurs after dendritic cells present antigen, such as tumor…antigen, to T cells, generating an adaptive response. Therefore, the potential of berries to aid cancer immune-therapies by, for example, regulating dendritic cells, warrants further investigation in animal and human studies. More information is also needed about berries’ effects on the entire spectrum of immunity so that a comprehensive view can inform efforts to use berries to enhance immune responses during cancer prevention and treatment. This review summarizes the effects of berries as anti-tumor agents from the immunological perspective in tumor-bearing animals and humans.
Keywords: Cancer immunology, berries, natural killer cells, T cells, dendritic cells
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Blueberry was introduced as a crop in Argentina about 30 years ago. Its harvesting period ranges from September to December, during the northern hemisphere (its main export destination) fall season, which makes it a profitable commercial crop. As most part of the production is exported fresh, the understanding of biochemical aspects connected with fruit firmness is crucial to improve marketable conditions. OBJECTIVE: The main purpose of this work is to explore the metabolic and physiologic changes in three highbush blueberry cultivars during maturation and the possible association with their contrasting firmness features. METHODS: Vaccinium corymbosum…cv. ‘Emerald’, ‘Snowchaser’ and ‘O’Neal’, in order of decreasing firmness, were collected at green and ripe stages. Metabolites were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and HPLC. Total phenolic compounds, pectin methyl esterase (PME) and β -galactosidase activities were quantified by colorimetric assays. RESULTS: Multivariate analysis of metabolites differentiated fruit regarding their maturation state in the first place. Malic, citric and phosphoric acids, asparagine (Asn) and mannitol were more abundant in green fruits. Conversely, mature fruits were distinguished by their higher content of citrulline and turanose. Other compounds were responsible for the differentiation between varieties: histidine (His), valine (Val), arginine (Arg), methionine (Met) and sucrose where high in ripe Snowchaser, while green and ripe Emerald had more tryptophane (Trp), glycine (Gly), phenylalanine (Phe), Trp, Gly and glucose. An interesting finding is that Emerald, the firmer variety, had less xylose content at both stages, possibly owing to a minor degree of cell wall degradation. Fold change of PME and β -galactosidase activity from green to ripe fruit demonstrated a divergent tendency in Emerald and Snowchaser compared to O’Neal. A correlation study strongly and positively connected firmness with citric acid and phenylalanine (Phe) content, while xylose, leucine (Leu) and shikimic acid were negatively related to this attribute. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that changes in the content of a few metabolite and activities of cell wall modifying enzymes during maturation period could be correlated with the observed difference in firmness of the blueberries studied. These findings may yield clues for improvements in fertilization protocols as well as to serve to the guided development of new varieties based on biochemical quality traits.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: High levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within the adipose tissue promote a disturbed redox balance and influence its function, impairing adipogenesis, inducing insulin resistance and stimulating adipocyte hypertrophy. Supplementation with antioxidant rich foods can reverse some of these effects. Strawberry is well known as a good source of phytochemicals; however, whether strawberry suppresses increased oxidative stress in 3T3-L1 cells remain unclear. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the present work was to determine the antioxidant potential of a strawberry extract in 3T3-L1 mouse embryo fibroblast cell line. METHODS: 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes were induced to differentiate into adipocytes…in the presence or absence of different concentrations of the strawberry extract. At the end of the differentiation period, intracellular ROS production, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) content, as well as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities and gene expressions were evaluated. RESULTS: In this study, we confirmed that strawberry extract markedly inhibited increased-oxidative stress in 3T3L1 cells by suppressing intracellular ROS production and decreasing TBARS content. Likewise, SOD and CAT activities and gene expressions were increased. CONCLUSIONS: This paper provides evidence that strawberry extract is able to scavenging free radicals and activate endogenous defense systems, highlighting its potential capacity to modulate obesity induced- inflammatory states.
Abstract: Strawberry cultivation is constantly increasing all over the world thanks to the varietal innovations obtained by numerous breeding and biotechnology projects and to the studies performed to discover new knowledge on plant’s physiology to develop innovative cultivation systems. Genetic resources remain crucial for breeding activities that can now be integrated with new genomic and molecular knowledge and technologies. Several research groups are dominating the development and control of these technologies, but there are also many emerging companies capable of developing innovations that can have important local and even global impacts. These activities are supported by important public research projects,…also of international importance, but the link with the companies that must have access to the results to improve their innovation capacity remains important. The ultimate aim is to continue to expand the cultivation of the strawberry with the development of new cultivars with high adaptability to different environments and growing systems (field, greenhouse above ground) with less environmental impact and increased safety and quality for the consumer.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Andean blackberries (Rubus glaucus Benth) and Andean blueberries (Vaccinium floribundum Kunth) are wild berries consumed and commercialised by the indigenous people of the Andean regions of Ecuador. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to determine the chemical composition and the ability of A. blackberries and A. blueberries to protect human dermal fibroblast (HDFa) against cytotoxic oxidative damage. METHODS: Total phenolic, flavonoid, anthocyanins and tannins content were determined spectrophotometrically, while vitamin C and carotenes were determined by HPLC. Total antioxidant capacity was determined by the Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP) assay, the hydrogen peroxide scavenging activity…and the DPPH and superoxide radical scavenging capacity. HDFa was pre-treated with A. blackberries or A. blueberries crude extract, subjected to a model of oxidative stress using the stressor 2,2’-azobis(2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride (AAPH) and the markers of cell cytotoxic damage (intracellular ROS levels, catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione activities, lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation and ATP and nitrite levels) were determined. RESULTS: A. blueberries showed significantly high values of total phenolic, flavonoid, anthocyanin, lutein tannin content, whilst A. blackberries showed the highest values of vitamin C and β -carotene. After HDFa was pre-incubated with crude extracts of A. blackberries and A. blueberries, the markers of oxidative damage were significantly improved compared with the stressed cells group. In all cases, crude extract of A. blueberries showed a higher protective effect compared to A. blackberries. CONCLUSION: A. blackberry and A. blueberry attenuated the oxidative damage in HDFa showing that both fruits may represent a relevant source of bioactive compounds with promising benefits for human health.
Keywords: Andean blackberry, Andean blueberry, chemical composition, mortiño, mora andina