Carrot Genes, Color, and Health in One Crunch

Scientists have identified the genes responsible for giving carrots their iconic orange color and high nutritional value. Carrots were initially purple or yellow in ancient times, but orange carrots emerged in Europe in the 1400s. Researchers sequenced 630 carrot genomes and discovered three specific genes that, when turned off, lead to orange coloration and increased levels of alpha and beta-carotene, which convert to vitamin A in the human body. This breakthrough sheds light on the evolution of carrot colors and their health benefits. Understanding carrot genetics may aid in breeding improved varieties in the future, say scientists.

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