Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Scientists discover new class of flavonoids


Scientists at Plant & Food Research, along with colleagues at Lincoln University and overseas, have recently discovered a brand new class of flavonoid pigments called “auronidins”.

This ground-breaking discovery, which challenges when the class of flavonoid called anthocyanins evolved in plants, has just been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Flavonoids are a diverse group of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in almost all fruit and vegetables and, along with carotenoids, are responsible for the vivid colours.

Until now, scientists thought that the red anthocyanin flavonoid pigments evolved during the evolution to land by plants from aquatic environments. In this study, scientists looking at liverworts – which may be the closest living relative to the first land plants – found that the red pigment in liverworts are not anthocyanins but an entirely new class of compound. The scientists have named this previously unreported flavonoid class “auronidins”.

The discovery that there are no anthocyanins in liverworts, but rather auronidins, suggests that anthocyanins did not evolve as early as commonly thought but probably arose after the last common ancestor of liverworts and seed plants. These findings raise questions about the changing physiological role of red coloured pigments during plant evolution.

The newly-discovered auronidin pigments have some significant properties. They are fluorescent and range in colour from yellow/orange to purple and could be used in future applications as chemosensors, dye sensitized solar cells and pigments for food and cosmetics.

Additionally, liverworts have a remarkable ability to survive in extreme environments and it’s possible the auronidin pigments may play a role in stress tolerance, helping liverworts cope with land-based stresses such as UV-B light, drought or nutrient deprivation.

This study was supported by grants from the Marsden Fund of New Zealand and the Norwegian NMR Platform.

Read the paper (https://plantandfood.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1b46d14e528ad30bae8b3663c&id=e828c2d1f9&e=5b367992d8)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Reserve Bank: RBNZ To Implement $30bn Large Scale Asset Purchase Programme Of NZ Govt Bonds

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to implement a Large Scale Asset Purchase programme (LSAP) of New Zealand government bonds. The negative economic implications of the coronavirus outbreak have continued to intensify. The Committee ... More>>

ALSO:

Elevate NZ: Venture Fund To Lift Productivity

The Government’s new $300 million venture capital fund - announced in last year’s Budget – is now open for business as the Elevate NZ Venture Fund. Finance Minister Grant Robertson says lifting New Zealand's productivity requires well-functioning ... More>>

ALSO:


COVID-19: Case Confirmed In NZ – Expert Reaction

After spreading across the globe for months, the first case of COVID-19 has been reported in New Zealand. The Ministry of Health says the risk of a community outbreak is low, due to their preparedness and the high awareness of the disease. The Science ... More>>

ALSO:

Agriculture: New Legislation To Boost Organics

New organics legislation will boost consumer confidence and help grow an innovative sector, says Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Organics Product Bill, introduced to Parliament this week, aims to increase consumer confidence when purchasing ... More>>

ALSO:

Biodiversity Policy: Misinformation Circulating

Forest & Bird is concerned at misinformation circulating regarding a policy statement aimed at protecting New Zealand’s unique biodiversity. The National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity is being consulted on by the ... More>>

ALSO: