Genetic control of chalcone isomerase activity in flowers of Dianthus caryophyllus

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Abstract

In flowers of Dianthus caryophyllus (carnation), the gene I is concerned with a discrete step in flavonoid biosynthesis, Genotypes with recessive (ii) alleles produce yellow flowers, which contain the chalcone isosalipurposide (naringenin-chalcone-2′-glucoside) as the major petal pigment, but in genotypes with wild-type alleles flavonols and anthocyanins can be formed and the flowers are white or red. Enzymatic measurements on petal extracts of four strains with different flower coloration revealed a clear correlation between accumulation of chalcone in recessive genotypes and deficiency of chalcone isomerase (E.C. 5.5.1.6) activity. From the chemogenetic and enzymological evidence it can be concluded that naringenin-chalcone is the first product of the synthesis of the flavonoid skeleton and that only the conversion of naringenin-chalcone to naringenin furnishes the substrate for the further reactions to flavonol and anthocyanin.

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These investigations were supported by a grant from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

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Forkmann, G., Dangelmayr, B. Genetic control of chalcone isomerase activity in flowers of Dianthus caryophyllus . Biochem Genet 18, 519–527 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00484399

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Key words

  • chalcone accumulation
  • chalcone isomerase
  • Dianthus
  • flavonoid biosynthesis
  • genetic block