Anthocyanin Profiles in Flowers of Grape Hyacinth.
ABSTRACT: Grape hyacinth (Muscari spp.) is a popular ornamental bulbous perennial famous for its blue flowers. To understand the chemical basis of the rich blue colors in this plant, anthocyanin profiles of six blue flowering grape hyacinths as well as one pink and one white cultivar were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Along with two known compounds, eight putative anthocyanins were identified in the tepals of grape hyacinth for the first time. The accumulation and distribution of anthocyanins in the plant showed significant cultivar and flower development specificity. Violet-blue flowers mainly contained simple delphinidin-type anthocyanins bearing one or two methyl-groups but no acyl groups, whereas white and pink flowers synthesised more complex pelargonidin/cyanidin-derivatives with acyl-moieties but no methyl-groups. The results partially reveal why solid blue, orange or red flowers are rare in this plant in nature. In addition, pelargonidin-type anthocyanins were found for the first time in the genus, bringing more opportunities in terms of breeding of flower color in grape hyacinth.
Project description:Grape hyacinth (Muscari spp.) is a popular ornamental plant with bulbous flowers noted for their rich blue color. Muscari species have been thought to accumulate delphinidin and cyanidin rather than pelargonidin-type anthocyanins because their dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) does not efficiently reduce dihydrokaempferol. In our study, we clone a novel DFR gene from blue flowers of Muscari. aucheri. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and anthocyanin analysis showed that the expression pattern of MaDFR had strong correlations with the accumulation of delphinidin, relatively weak correlations with cyanidin, and no correations with pelargonidin. However, in vitro enzymatic analysis revealed that the MaDFR enzyme can reduce all the three types of dihydroflavonols (dihydrokaempferol, dihydroquercetin, and dihydromyricetin), although it most preferred dihydromyricetin as a substrate to produce leucodelphinidin, the precursor of blue-hued delphinidin. This indicated that there may be other functional genes responsible for the loss of red pelargonidin-based pigments in Muscari. To further verify the substrate-specific selection domains of MaDFR, an assay of amino acid substitutions was conducted. The activity of MaDFR was not affected whenever the N135 or E146 site was mutated. However, when both of them were mutated, the catalytic activity of MaDFR was lost completely. The results suggest that both the N135 and E146 sites are essential for the activity of MaDFR. Additionally, the heterologous expression of MaDFR in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) resulted in increasing anthocyanin accumulation, leading to a darker flower color, which suggested that MaDFR was involved in color development in flowers. In summary, MaDFR has a high preference for dihydromyricetin, and it could be a powerful candidate gene for genetic engineering for blue flower colour modification. Our results also make a valuable contribution to understanding the basis of color variation in the genus Muscari.
Project description:Almost all flowers of the tea plant (<i>Camellia sinensis</i>) are white, which has caused few researchers to pay attention to anthocyanin accumulation and color changing in tea flowers. A new purple-leaf cultivar, Baitang purple tea (BTP) was discovered in the Baitang Mountains of Guangdong, whose flowers are naturally pink, and can provide an opportunity to understand anthocyanin metabolic networks and flower color development in tea flowers. In the present study, twelve anthocyanin components were identified in the pink tea flowers, namely cyanidin <i>O</i>-syringic acid, petunidin 3-<i>O</i>-glucoside, pelargonidin 3-<i>O</i>-beta-d-glucoside, which marks the first time these compounds have been found in the tea flowers. The presence of these anthocyanins seem most likely to be the reason for the pink coloration of the flowers. Twenty-one differentially expressed genes (DEGs) involved in anthocyanin pathway were identified using KEGG pathway functional enrichment, and ten of these DEG's screened using venn and KEGG functional enrichment analysis during five subsequent stages of flower development. By comparing DEGs and their expression levels across multiple flower development stages, we found that anthocyanin biosynthesis and accumulation in BTP flowers mainly occurred between the third and fourth stages (BTP3 to BTP4). Particularly, during the period of peak anthocyanin synthesis 17 structural genes were upregulated, and four structural genes were downregulated only. Ultimately, eight critical genes were identified using weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA), which were found to have direct impact on biosynthesis and accumulation of three flavonoid compounds, namely cyanidin 3-<i>O</i>-glucoside, petunidin 3-<i>O</i>-glucoside and epicatechin gallate. These results provide useful information about the molecular mechanisms of coloration in rare pink tea flower of anthocyanin-rich tea, enriching the gene resource and guiding further research on anthocyanin accumulation in purple tea.
Project description:Rose is one of the most valuable ornamental crops worldwide. In this study, the composition of hydrophilic and lipophilic pigments in petals of six rose cultivars at seven developing stages was investigated using high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Four anthocyanins, 20 flavonols, and 10 carotenoids were detected in petals of tested cultivars. Major individual anthocyanin, flavonol, and carotenoid were cyanidin/pelargonidin 3,5-diglucoside, kaempferol 3-O-rhamnoside, and (9Z)-violaxanthin, respectively. Significant differences were observed in pigments content in petals of different rose cultivars. The yellow petals of YI and GC exhibited no to very small amounts of anthocyanins, moderate amount of total flavonols, and highest content of total carotenoids. Similarly, pink petals of PF, WQ, and YX showed average concentration of total anthocyanins, highest concentration of total flavonols, and small amount of carotenoids. Further, orange petals of CH showed highest content of total anthocyanins, lowest content of total flavonols, and average content of total carotenoids. Correlation analysis demonstrated that there were many pigments influencing petal colors. Moreover, multiple linear regression indicated that pelargonidin 3,5-diglucoside, total anthocyanins and (9Z)-violaxanthin were the major factors. In addition, this study showed that orange cultivar CH, pink cultivar PF and yellow cultivar YI can have great potential as a natural source for the extraction of pelargonidin 3-O-glucoside, kaempferol 3-O-rhamnoside, and (9Z)-violaxanthin, respectively. These investigations would contribute toward understanding the mechanism on the development of flower colors and provide a theoretical basis for the breeding of rose with specific color.
Project description:Grape hyacinth (Muscari) is an important ornamental bulbous plant with an extraordinary blue colour. Muscari armeniacum, whose flowers can be naturally white, provides an opportunity to unravel the complex metabolic networks underlying certain biochemical traits, especially colour. A blue flower cDNA library of M. armeniacum and a white flower library of M. armeniacum f. album were used for transcriptome sequencing. A total of 89 926 uni-transcripts were isolated, 143 of which could be identified as putative homologues of colour-related genes in other species. Based on a comprehensive analysis relating colour compounds to gene expression profiles, the mechanism of colour biosynthesis was studied in M. armeniacum. Furthermore, a new hypothesis explaining the lack of colour phenotype of the grape hyacinth flower is proposed. Alteration of the substrate competition between flavonol synthase (FLS) and dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) may lead to elimination of blue pigmentation while the multishunt from the limited flux in the cyanidin (Cy) synthesis pathway seems to be the most likely reason for the colour change in the white flowers of M. armeniacum. Moreover, mass sequence data obtained by the deep sequencing of M. armeniacum and its white variant provided a platform for future function and molecular biological research on M. armeniacum.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Anthocyanins determinate the flower color of many plants. Tobacco is a model plant for studying the molecular regulation of flower coloration. We investigated the mechanism underlying flower coloration in tobacco by profiling flavonoid metabolites,expression of anthocyanin biosynthetic structural genes and their regulator genes in the pink-flowered tobacco cultivar Yunyan 87 and white-flowered Yunyan 87 mutant. RESULT:Significant down-accumulation of anthocyanins, including cyanidin 3-O-glucoside, cyanin, cyanidin 3-O-rutinoside, pelargonidin 3-O-beta-D-glucoside, cyanidin O-syringic acid, pelargonin, and pelargonidin 3-O-malonylhexoside (log2 fold change < -?10), endowed the flower color mutation in Yunyan 87 mutant. Transcriptome analysis showed that the coordinately down-regulated anthocyanin biosynthetic genes including chalcone isomerase, naringenin 3-dioxygenase, dihydroflavonol 4-reductase and UDP-glucose:flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase played critical roles in suppressing the formation of the aforesaid anthocyanins. Several genes encoding MYB and bHLH transcription factors were also found down-regulated, and probably the reason for the suppression of structural genes. CONCLUSION:This is the first study of tobacco flower coloration combining metabolome and transcriptome analyses, and the results shed a light on the systematic regulation mechanisms of flower coloration in tobacco. The obtained information will aid in developing strategies to modify flower color through genetic transformation.
Project description:Black and bristly locust flowers are an excellent source of polyphenols, including flavonols, phenolic acids, and anthocyanins. In the present literature, there is a lack of studies showing the quantity and quality of phenolic compounds from different locust flowers. There are a few studies on the status of polyphenols in black locust flowers and their products but not bristly locusts. The aims of this study were to analyze and compare the concentrations of bioactive compounds from <i>Robinia pseudoacacia</i> and <i>Robinia hispida</i> flowers over two years. These two species of plants from six independent locations (parks and green areas) located in Warsaw were assessed in this study. The dry matter and polyphenol contents of the flowers were determined. Black locust flower samples contained significantly more myricetin and luteolin. Only bristly locust flowers contained anthocyanins. Five individual anthocyanins were identified in the pink-colored bristly locust flowers. Pelargonidin-3-<i>O</i>-glucoside and cyanidin-3-<i>O</i>-glucoside were the predominant forms in the pool of total anthocyanins.
Project description:Cytochromes P450 play important roles in biosynthesis of flavonoids and their coloured class of compounds, anthocyanins, both of which are major floral pigments. The number of hydroxyl groups on the B-ring of anthocyanidins (the chromophores and precursors of anthocyanins) impact the anthocyanin colour, the more the bluer. The hydroxylation pattern is determined by two cytochromes P450, flavonoid 3'-hydroxylase (F3'H) and flavonoid 3',5'-hydroxylase (F3'5'H) and thus they play a crucial role in the determination of flower colour. F3'H and F3'5'H mostly belong to CYP75B and CYP75A, respectively, except for the F3'5'Hs in Compositae that were derived from gene duplication of CYP75B and neofunctionalization. Roses and carnations lack blue/violet flower colours owing to the deficiency of F3'5'H and therefore lack the B-ring-trihydroxylated anthocyanins based upon delphinidin. Successful redirection of the anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway to delphinidin was achieved by expressing F3'5'H coding regions resulting in carnations and roses with novel blue hues that have been commercialized. Suppression of F3'5'H and F3'H in delphinidin-producing plants reduced the number of hydroxyl groups on the anthocyanidin B-ring resulting in the production of monohydroxylated anthocyanins based on pelargonidin with a shift in flower colour to orange/red. Pelargonidin biosynthesis is enhanced by additional expression of a dihydroflavonol 4-reductase that can use the monohydroxylated dihydrokaempferol (the pelargonidin precursor). Flavone synthase II (FNSII)-catalysing flavone biosynthesis from flavanones is also a P450 (CYP93B) and contributes to flower colour, because flavones act as co-pigments to anthocyanins and can cause blueing and darkening of colour. However, transgenic plants expression of a FNSII gene yielded paler flowers owing to a reduction of anthocyanins because flavanones are precursors of anthocyanins and flavones.
Project description:Anthocyanins are responsible for the different colors of ornamental plants. Grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum), a monocot plant with bulbous flowers, is popular for its fascinating blue color. In the present study, we functionally characterized an R2R3-MYB transcription factor gene MaAN2 from M. armeniacum. Our results indicated that MaAN2 participates in controlling anthocyanin biosynthesis. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis suggested that MaAN2 belonged to the R2R3-MYB family AN2 subgroup. The anthocyanin accumulation of grape hyacinth flowers was positively correlated with the expression of MaAN2. And the transcriptional expression of MaAN2 was also consistent with that of M. armeniacum dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (MaDFR) and M. armeniacum anthocyanidin synthase (MaANS) in flowers. A dual luciferase transient expression assay indicated that when MaAN2 was co-inflitrated with Arabidopsis thaliana TRANSPARENT TESTA8 (AtTT8), it strongly activated the promoters of MaDFR and MaANS, but not the promoters of M. armeniacum chalcone synthase (MaCHS), M. armeniacum chalcone isomerase (MaCHI), and M. armeniacum flavanone 3-hydroxylase (MaF3H). Bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay confirmed that MaAN2 interacted with AtTT8 in vivo. The ectopic expression of MaAN2 in Nicotiana tabacum resulted in obvious red coloration of the leaves and much redder flowers. Almost all anthocyanin biosynthetic genes were remarkably upregulated in the leaves and flowers of the transgenic tobacco, and NtAn1a and NtAn1b (two basic helix-loop-helix anthocyanin regulatory genes) were highly expressed in the transformed leaves, compared to the empty vector transformants. Collectively, our results suggest that MaAN2 plays a role in anthocyanin biosynthesis.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Grape hyacinth (Muscari spp.) is one of the most important ornamental bulbous plants. However, its lengthy juvenile period and time-consuming transformation approaches under the available protocols impedes the functional characterisation of its genes in flower tissues. In vitro flower organogenesis has long been used to hasten the breeding cycle of plants but has not been exploited for shortening the period of gene transformation and characterisation in flowers.<h4>Results</h4>A petal regeneration system was established for stable transformation and function identification of colour gene in grape hyacinth. By culturing on Murashige and Skoog medium (MS) with 0.45 μM 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 8.88 μM 6-benzyladenine (6-BA), during the colour-changing period, the flower bud explants gave rise to regeneration petals in less than 3 months, instead of the 3 years required in field-grown plants. By combining this system with Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, a glucuronidase reporter gene (GUS) was delivered into grape hyacinth petals. Ultimately, 214 transgenic petals were regenerated from 24 resistant explants. PCR and GUS quantitative analyses confirmed that these putative transgenic petals have stably overexpressed GUS genes. Furthermore, an RNAi vector of the anthocyanidin 3-O-glucosyltransferase gene (MaGT) was integrated into grape hyacinth petals using the same strategy. Compared with the non-transgenic controls, reduced expression of the MaGT occurred in all transgenic petals, which caused pigmentation loss by repressing anthocyanin accumulation.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The Agrobacterium transformation method via petal organogenesis of grape hyacinth took only 3-4 months to implement, and was faster and easier to perform than other gene-overexpressing or -silencing techniques that are currently available.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Anthocyanins are polyphenolic pigments which provide pink to blue colours in fruits and flowers. There is an increasing demand for anthocyanins, as food colorants and as health-promoting substances. Plant production of anthocyanins is often seasonal and cannot always meet demand due to low productivity and the complexity of the plant extracts. Therefore, a system of on-demand supply is useful. While a number of other (simpler) plant polyphenols have been successfully produced in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, production of anthocyanins has not yet been reported. RESULTS:Saccharomyces cerevisiae was engineered to produce pelargonidin 3-O-glucoside starting from glucose. Specific anthocyanin biosynthetic genes from Arabidopsis thaliana and Gerbera hybrida were introduced in a S. cerevisiae strain producing naringenin, the flavonoid precursor of anthocyanins. Upon culturing, pelargonidin and its 3-O-glucoside were detected inside the yeast cells, albeit at low concentrations. A number of related intermediates and side-products were much more abundant and were secreted into the culture medium. To optimize titers of pelargonidin 3-O-glucoside further, biosynthetic genes were stably integrated into the yeast genome, and formation of a major side-product, phloretic acid, was prevented by engineering the yeast chassis. Further engineering, by removing two glucosidases which are known to degrade pelargonidin 3-O-glucoside, did not result in higher yields of glycosylated pelargonidin. In aerated, pH controlled batch reactors, intracellular pelargonidin accumulation reached 0.01 µmol/gCDW, while kaempferol and dihydrokaempferol were effectively exported to reach extracellular concentration of 20 µM [5 mg/L] and 150 µM [44 mg/L], respectively. CONCLUSION:The results reported in this study demonstrate the proof-of-concept that S. cerevisiae is capable of de novo production of the anthocyanin pelargonidin 3-O-glucoside. Furthermore, while current conversion efficiencies are low, a number of clear bottlenecks have already been identified which, when overcome, have huge potential to enhance anthocyanin production efficiency. These results bode very well for the development of fermentation-based production systems for specific and individual anthocyanin molecules. Such systems have both great scientific value for identifying and characterising anthocyanin decorating enzymes as well as significant commercial potential for the production of, on-demand, pure bioactive compounds to be used in the food, health and even pharma industries.