Gene That Makes Carrots Orange ID'd
Scientists who succeeded in sequencing the genome of carrots have identified the gene, dubbed DCAR_032551, responsible for carotenoids, which make carrots and other produce orange and provide humans with vitamin A. Although vitamin A deficiency is rare in the US, it remains a global problem. Like many plants, carrots actually contain about 20% more genes - 32,115 - than humans do. Scientists believe carrots, which originally were white, developed in central Asia, splitting from the plant family that produces grapes about 130 million years ago. Carrots are actually cousins to kiwis, from which they diverged only about 10 million years ago.