In recent years we have used various genomics tools to investigate ripening in strawberry, in particular the process of fruit flavor biogenesis. The combination of biochemical analysis, generation of a strawberry Expressed Sequence Tags (EST) collection and gene expression analysis using cDNA microarrays resulted in the identification of several genes playing a key role in the formation of volatile flavors during strawberry fruit ripening. Genes associated with the biosynthesis of lipid-derived flavors, such as esters, and those involved in the formation of mono- and sesquiterpenes have been isolated. In this report we summarize the main results obtained by functional characterization of the genes identified. Moreover, differences in volatile profiles between the wild, diploid strawberry and the cultivated, octaploid strawberry allowed us to obtain insight into the molecular processes which resulted in the formation of a certain flavor component and the loss of another
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