Arming vegetables with anti-inflammatory properties using plant pigments

Metabolic engineering is a field of plant biotechnology that seeks to genetically modify plant metabolic pathways to generate plant varieties with improved health benefits. Recently, scientists engineered potato and tomato plants to express the plant pigment betalain — found only in Caryophyllales and higher fungi. They found that while betalain-tomatoes conferred anti-inflammatory effects against macrophages and murine colitis, betalain-potatoes showed no such effects.

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