Characterization of carotenoid pigments and their biosynthesis in two yellow flowered lines of Sandersonia aurantiaca (Hook)
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- Nielsen, K.M., Lewis, D.H. & Morgan, E.R. Euphytica (2003) 130: 25. doi:10.1023/A:1022328828688
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The basis of the novel cream/yellow flower color found in two Sandersonia aurantiaca lines was examined as part of a project to develop new colors for this cut flower crop in New Zealand. The original color, bright orange, is due to the accumulation of the carotenoid pigments zeaxanthin and β-cryptoxanthin. The cream/yellow lines have much lower levels of total carotenoid pigments (17% and 21%) in their tepal tissue compared to the wild type progenitor. Microscopic analysis of epidermal cells showed alteration in the pigment cluster bodies of tepal tissue of the cream/yellow lines compared to the orange wild type. HPLC analysis of the pigments showed that one cream/yellow line (Y-H) produced the same pigment profile as the wild type (zeaxanthin and β-cryptoxanthin). In comparison, the other cream/yellow line (Y-S) produced the carotenoid profile normally found in green vegetative tissue (β-carotene and lutein). Analysis of carotenoid biosynthetic gene expression in Sandersonia indicated that the cream/yellow Y-H line showed expression patterns similar to the wild type, and gene expression in the Y-S line is decreased relative to the wild type and the Y-H line.