, Volume 165, Issue 2, pp 284–287

Enzymatic reduction of (+)-dihydroflavonols to flavan-3,4-cis-diols with flower extracts from Matthiola incana and its role in anthocyanin biosynthesis


  • W. Heller
    • Biologisches Institut II der Universität
  • G. Forkmann
    • Institut für Biologie II der Universität
  • L. Britsch
    • Biologisches Institut II der Universität
  • H. Grisebach
    • Biologisches Institut II der Universität

DOI: 10.1007/BF00395052

Cite this article as:
Heller, W., Forkmann, G., Britsch, L. et al. Planta (1985) 165: 284. doi:10.1007/BF00395052


A cell-free extract from flowers of Matthiola incana catalyzes a NADPH-dependent stereospecific reduction of (+)-dihydrokaempferol to 3,4-cis-leucopelargonidin (5,7,4′-trihydroxyflavan-3,4-cis-diol). The pH-optimum of this reaction is around 6. The rate of reaction with NADH was about 50% of that found with NADPH. (+)-Dihydroquercetin and (+)-dihydromyricetin were also reduced by the enzyme preparation to the corresponding flavan-3,4-cis-diols. Correlation between the genotype of M. incana and the presence of dihydroflavonol 4-reductase is strong evidence that this enzyme is involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis.

Key words

Anthocyanin biosynthesisDihydroflavonol reductaseFlavan-3,4-diolMatthiola
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© Springer-Verlag 1985