Plant & cell physiology

Genetic engineering of novel bluer-colored chrysanthemums produced by accumulation of delphinidin-based anthocyanins.

PMID 23926063


Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.) have no purple-, violet- or blue-flowered cultivars because they lack delphinidin-based anthocyanins. This deficiency is due to the absence of the flavonoid 3',5'-hydroxylase gene (F3'5'H), which encodes the key enzyme for delphinidin biosynthesis. In F3'5'H-transformed chrysanthemums, unpredictable and unstable expression levels have hampered successful production of delphinidin and reduced desired changes in flower color. With the aim of achieving delphinidin production in chrysanthemum petals, we found that anthocyanin biosynthetic gene promoters combined with a translational enhancer increased expression of some F3'5'H genes and accompanying delphinidin-based anthocyanin accumulation in transgenic chrysanthemums. Dramatic accumulation of delphinidin (up to 95%) was achieved by simple overexpression of Campanula F3'5'H controlled by a petal-specific flavanone 3-hydroxylase promoter from chrysanthemum combined with the 5'-untranslated region of the alcohol dehydrogenase gene as a translational enhancer. The flower colors of transgenic lines producing delphinidin-based anthocyanins changed from a red-purple to a purple-violet hue in the Royal Horticultural Society Colour Charts. This result represents a promising step toward molecular breeding of blue chrysanthemums.

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