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Flavonoids in Saskatoon Fruits, Blueberry Fruits, and Legume Seeds Open Access


Other title
faba bean
saskatoon fruit
blueberry fruit
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Jin, Lihua
Supervisor and department
Ozga, Jocelyn (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Examining committee member and department
Weselake, Randall (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Schieber, Andreas (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Li, Liang (Department of Chemistry)
Strelkov, Stephen (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
De Luca, Vincenzo (Brock University)
Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Flavonoids are a large group of plant secondary metabolites. Three main subclasses of flavonoids are anthocyanins, flavonols, and proanthocyanidins (PAs). In order to improve our understanding of flavonoid biosynthesis and accumulation, and their roles in fruits and seeds, we studied the developmental profiles of anthocyanins, flavonols, and PAs in developing and mature saskatoon (Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt.) and highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) fruits and seeds, as well as in the seeds of grain legumes including pea (Pisum sativum L.), faba bean (Vicia faba L.), and lentil (Lens culinaris L.). Levels of these flavonoids were correlated with the visual or histological localization of these compounds in the developing seeds and fruits. A biphasic and tissue-specific pattern of flavonoid production was observed in the fruits. Flavonol and PA concentrations in saskatoon and blueberry fruits were high during early fruit development localizing throughout the ovary tissues. As the fruit matured, flavonol and PA levels declined and localized to only specific ovary tissues and the seed coat. In contrast, anthocyanin concentration was low during early fruit development and dramatically increased as the fruit ripened. For blueberry fruit, flavonoid gene expression was also correlated with flavonoid end-products and end-product localization over development. In the seeds of specific pea cultivars, PA concentration peaked in the seed coats at mid-development, and then declined as the seed matured. PAs were localized to the epidermal and ground-parenchyma layers of the seed coat. Flavonoid type and concentration varied over development, and with organ (fruit or seed), species and within species. Overall, these data demonstrate that these flavonoid pathways are controlled both spatially and temporally suggesting important functions for these compounds in these organs, including serving as protective agents throughout development.
License granted by Alena (Lihua) Jin ( on 2011-08-30T22:14:17Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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