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Planta

, 230:1141 | Cite as

Transcriptional regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis in red cabbage

  • Youxi Yuan
  • Li-Wei Chiu
  • Li LiEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

The color of red cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) is due to anthocyanin accumulation. To investigate the regulatory control of anthocyanin production in red cabbage, the expression of anthocyanin biosynthetic and regulatory genes from eight commercial cultivars was examined. While the four green varieties had negligible amount of anthocyanins under normal growth condition, the four red cultivars contained up to 1.60 mg g−1 fresh weight. HPLC analysis of the four red cultivars revealed that they produced similar composition of various forms of cyanidin glucosides but at different concentrations. Molecular analysis indicated that all the red cabbage shared common mechanism of regulatory control for anthocyanin biosynthesis. Except CHI which showed similar expression levels between green and red cultivars, the other structural genes, CHS, F3H, F3′H, DFR, LDOX, and GST, were constitutively up-regulated during all stages of vegetative growth in red varieties. The expression of these structural genes was also dramatically increased in green and red cabbage under nutrient stresses. The increased expression of the structural genes coincided with a coordinated increase in transcript levels of a bHLH gene, BoTT8, and a MYB transcription factor, BoMYB2. These results indicate that activation of these two regulatory factors by unknown mechanisms constitutively up-regulates nearly the entire pathway genes for the onset of anthocyanin biosynthesis in red cabbage. Moreover, the amount of total anthocyanins in red cabbage was found to be positively correlated with total antioxidant power, implicating the potential health benefit of red cabbage to human health.

Keywords

Anthocyanin biosynthesis Red cabbage Transcriptional regulation Nutrient deficiency 

Abbreviations

PAL

Phenylalanine ammonia lyase

CHS

Chalcone synthase

CHI

Chalcone isomerases

F3H

Flavonone 3-hydroxylase

F3′H

Flavonoid 3′-hydroxylase

DFR

Dihydroflavonol reductase

LDOX

Anthocyanidin synthase

GST

Glutathione-S-transferase

TTG1

Transparent Testa Glabra1

TT8

Transparent Testa8

PAP1

Production of Anthocyanin Pigment1

GL3

Glabra3

EGL3

Enhancer of Glabra3

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health, USDA-ARSCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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