Plant Biotechnology Reports

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 251–257 | Cite as

Induction of differential flower pigmentation patterns by RNAi using promoters with distinct tissue-specific activity

  • Takashi Nakatsuka
  • Chetsadaporn Pitaksutheepong
  • Saburo Yamamura
  • Masahiro NishiharaEmail author
Original Article


We attempted to evaluate the effects of promoters on flower color modification by RNA interference (RNAi). An inverted repeat of a tobacco chalcone synthase (CHS) fragment was used as a trigger under control of three different promoters and transformed into tobacco plants. The flowers of CaMV35S:CHSir displayed a completely white color, whereas those of Agrobacterium rhizogenes rolC:CHSir kept slight pigmentation. On the other hand, gentian GtCHS:CHSir showed decreased pigmentation in the tip only but not at the base of the petal limbs, which resulted in the appearance of bicolor-like flowers. The observed suppression of flower pigmentation corresponded with tissue-specificity of each promoter activity determined by histochemical GUS assay using transgenic tobacco plants with each promoter–GUS construct. These results demonstrate for the first time that RNAi-mediated silencing can be used to produce novel-colored flowers with high horticultural value.


Anthocyanin Bicolor Flower color pattern RNAi Tissue-specific promoter Tobacco 



Cauliflower mosaic virus


Chalcone synthase


Double-stranded RNA


RNA interference


Small interference RNA



We thank Y. Abe, Y. Kakizaki, A. Kubota, R. Takahashi, and A. Oikawa for their technical assistance.

Supplementary material

11816_2007_39_Fig5_ESM.jpg (208 kb)

Supplemental Fig. S1. GUS activities in transgenic tobacco petals. Total proteins were isolated from the petals in transgenic and wild-type plants. The fluorometric GUS assay was performed in five independent flowers of each transgenic line. GUS activity is indicated as the average ± standard deviation (JPG 208 kb)


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Copyright information

© Korean Society for Plant Biotechnology and Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takashi Nakatsuka
    • 1
  • Chetsadaporn Pitaksutheepong
    • 2
  • Saburo Yamamura
    • 1
  • Masahiro Nishihara
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Iwate Biotechnology Research CenterKitakamiJapan
  2. 2.National Center for Genetic Engineering and BiotechnologyKlong LuangThailand

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