ABSTRACT: The flower colour of Cyclamen graecum gra6 (wild-type) is pink-purple in the main part of the petal, referred to as the ‘slip’, and deep purple at the petal base, referred to as the ‘eye’. On the other hand, flowers of C. graecum gra50 (a white-flowered variant) exhibit a white colour in both the ‘slip’ and ‘eye’ regions. In this study, the relationship between floral pigmentation and the expression of several anthocyanin biosynthesis genes was investigated in C. graecum gra6 and gra50.The pigments in the ‘slip’ and ‘eye’ regions consist mainly of malvidin 3,5-diglucoside in gra6, suggesting that the difference between the colour of the ‘slip’ and ‘eye’ regions is related to the amount of anthocyanin present.White-flowered C. graecum gra50 possessed lower amounts of anthocyanins, but higher amounts of flavonols compared to gra6, suggesting a change in metabolism caused by a disruption of anthocyanin biosynthesis. Gene expression analysis demonstrated that expression of the dihydroflavonol 4-reductase gene 2 (CgraDFR2) was lower in gra50 compared with gra6, whereas expression of the three other key genes (dihydroflavonol 4-reductase gene 1, flavonoid 3’,5’-hydroxylase, and anthocyanidin synthase) did not differ greatly. These results suggest that the white-flowered variant (gra50) may result from a defect in expression of the CgraDFR2 gene.
Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology 05/2010; 85(5):437-43. · 0.64 Impact Factor