Planta

, Volume 236, Issue 3, pp 901–918

An integrated approach to demonstrating the ANR pathway of proanthocyanidin biosynthesis in plants

  • Qing-Zhong Peng
  • Yue Zhu
  • Zhong Liu
  • Ci Du
  • Ke-Gang Li
  • De-Yu Xie
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00425-012-1670-6

Cite this article as:
Peng, QZ., Zhu, Y., Liu, Z. et al. Planta (2012) 236: 901. doi:10.1007/s00425-012-1670-6

Abstract

Proanthocyanidins (PAs) are oligomers or polymers of plant flavan-3-ols and are important to plant adaptation in extreme environmental conditions. The characterization of anthocyanidin reductase (ANR) and leucoanthocyanidin reductase (LAR) has demonstrated the different biogenesis of four stereo-configurations of flavan-3-ols. It is important to understand whether ANR and the ANR pathway widely occur in the plant kingdom. Here, we report an integrated approach to demonstrate the ANR pathway in plants. This includes different methods to extract native ANR from different tissues of eight angiosperm plants (Lotus corniculatus, Desmodium uncinatum, Medicago sativa, Hordeum vulgare, Vitis vinifera, Vitis bellula, Parthenocissus heterophylla, and Cerasus serrulata) and one fern plant (Dryopteris pycnopteroides), a general enzymatic analysis approach to demonstrate the ANR activity, high-performance liquid chromatography-based fingerprinting to demonstrate (−)-epicatechin and other flavan-3-ol molecules, and phytochemical analysis of PAs. Results demonstrate that in addition to leaves of M. sativa, tissues of other eight plants contain an active ANR pathway. Particularly, the leaves, flowers and pods of D. uncinatum, which is a model plant to study LAR and the LAR pathways, are demonstrated to express an active ANR pathway. This finding suggests that the ANR pathway involves PA biosynthesis in D. uncinatum. In addition, a sequence BLAST analysis reveals that ANR homologs have been sequenced in plants from both gymnosperms and angiosperms. These data show that the ANR pathway to PA biosynthesis occurs in both seed and seedless vascular plants.

Keywords

ANR pathway Anthocyanidin reductase Leucoanthocyanidin reductase Flavan-3-ols Catechin Epicatechin Proanthocyanidins 

Abbreviations

ANR

Anthocyanidin reductase

HPLC

High-performance liquid chromatography

TLC

Thin layer chromatography

PA

Proanthocyanidins

Supplementary material

425_2012_1670_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (339 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (JPG 338 kb)
425_2012_1670_MOESM2_ESM.jpg (94 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (JPG 93.9 kb)
425_2012_1670_MOESM3_ESM.doc (23 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOC 23 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qing-Zhong Peng
    • 1
  • Yue Zhu
    • 1
  • Zhong Liu
    • 2
  • Ci Du
    • 1
  • Ke-Gang Li
    • 1
  • De-Yu Xie
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Utilization, College of Biology and Environmental SciencesJishou UniversityJishou CityPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Plant BiologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA