, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 302-308
Date: 22 Oct 2009

Transient Expression of the Cytochrome p450 CYP78A2 Enhances Anthocyanin Production in Flowers

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Abstract

Transient expression of a cytochrome P450 gene (CYP78A2) cloned from Phalaenopsis was shown to enhance the anthocyanin contents in the petals of transformed Phalaenopsis. In this study, it was characterized further to understand the relationship between this P450 and the anthocyanin biosynthesis in flowers. The enhancement effect exerted by the P450 gene exhibits the following characteristics. First, its product seems to be able to effectively boost the existing pathway of biosynthesis without causing synthesis of any new anthocyanin. Second, the effect is not limited to Phalaenopsis, a monocotyledon, but also occurs in dicotyledons such as carnation and rose, indicating its wide range of action in heterologous plants. Third, the gene is not expressed in petals at any stage of flower development of Phalaenopsis, thus ruling out its direct participation in anthocyanin biosynthesis. It is possible that this P450 gene is associated with the biosynthesis of plant hormones or second metabolites, and through which to positively and indirectly influence the existing biosynthesis pathway of anthocyanins in petals.