Molecular Breeding

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 33–41

Modification of flower color and fragrance by antisense suppression of the flavanone 3-hydroxylase gene

  • Amir Zuker
  • Tzvi Tzfira
  • Hagit Ben-Meir
  • Marianna Ovadis
  • Elena Shklarman
  • Hanan Itzhaki
  • Gert Forkmann
  • Stefan Martens
  • Inbal Neta-Sharir
  • David Weiss
  • Alexander Vainstein
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1019204531262

Cite this article as:
Zuker, A., Tzfira, T., Ben-Meir, H. et al. Molecular Breeding (2002) 9: 33. doi:10.1023/A:1019204531262

Abstract

Anthocyanins are the major pigments contributing to carnation flowercoloration. Most carnation varieties are sterile and hence molecular breedingis an attractive approach to creating novel colors in this commercially importantcrop. Characterization of anthocyanins in the flowers of the modern carnationcv. Eilat revealed that only the orange pelargonidin accumulates, due to a lackof both flavonoid 3′,5′-hydroxylase and flavonoid3′-hydroxylase activities. To modify flower color in cv. Eilat, we usedantisense suppression to block the expression of a gene encoding flavanone3-hydroxylase, a key step in the anthocyanin pathway. The transgenic plantsexhibited flower color modifications ranging from attenuation to complete lossof their original orange/reddish color. In the latter, only traces ofpelargonidin were detected. Dramatic suppression of flavanone 3-hydroxylaselevel/activity in these transgenes was confirmed by northern blot, RT-PCR andenzymatic assays. The new phenotype has been stable for over 4 years ofvegetative propagation. Moreover, transgenic plants with severe colormodification were more fragrant than control plants. GC-MS headspace analysesrevealed that transgenic anti-f3h flowers emit higherlevels of methyl benzoate. The possible interrelation between pathways leadingto anthocyanin and fragrance production is discussed.

Anthocyanin Carnation Flavanone 3-hydroxylase Flower color Fragrance Transgenic plants 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amir Zuker
    • 1
  • Tzvi Tzfira
    • 1
  • Hagit Ben-Meir
    • 1
  • Marianna Ovadis
    • 1
  • Elena Shklarman
    • 1
  • Hanan Itzhaki
    • 1
  • Gert Forkmann
    • 2
  • Stefan Martens
    • 2
  • Inbal Neta-Sharir
    • 1
  • David Weiss
    • 1
  • Alexander Vainstein
    • 1
  1. 1.The Kennedy Leigh Centre for Horticultural Research and The Otto Warburg Center for Biotechnology in Agriculture, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality SciencesThe Hebrew University of JerusalemRehovotIsrael
  2. 2.TU Munchen-Weihenstephan, Lehrstuhl fur ZierpflanzenbauFreisingGermany

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