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Anthocyanin Regulatory/Structural Gene Expression in Phalaenopsis
Anthocyanin biosynthesis requires the coordinated expression of Myc, Wd, Chs, Dfr, and Myb. Chs and Dfr are structural genes, while Myc, Myb, and Wd are regulatory genes. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to measure the expression of these genes in Phalaenopsis amabilis and Phalaenopsis schilleriana. P. amabilis expresses an albescent phenotype with petals and sepals that are anthocyanin free, while P. schilleriana has a wild-type phenotype with anthocyanin-containing petals and sepals. As expected, the petals and sepals of P. schilleriana expressed high levels of Chs and Dfr. The petals and sepals of P. amabilis expressed high levels of Chs and very low levels of Dfr. In P. amabilis and P. schilleriana, anthocyanin-specific Myc and Wd were expressed; however, Myb specific for anthocyanin biosynthesis were undetectable in P. amabilis. This suggests that the absence of Myb expression was responsible for the lack of dihydroflavonol 4-reductase and results in the absence of anthocyanin pigmentation in P. amabilis petals and sepals. This was confirmed by particle bombardment of P. amabilis petals with functional Mybs isolated from P. schilleriana. Comparisons of anthocyanin-related Myb gene expression between P. schilleriana and P. amabilis are between genetically different species. Phalaenopsis 'Everspring Fairy' expresses a harlequin phenotype with white petals and sepals containing large anthocyanin sectors. Harlequin flowers are ideal to evaluate anthocyanin-related Myb gene expression within genetically identical but differently pigmented tissue. High levels of anthocyanin-specific Myb and Dfr transcripts were present in the purple, but not in the white, sectors of Phalaenopsis 'Everspring Fairy' petals and sepals. There was no differential expression of Chs, Wd, and Myc between the purple and white sectors. These results are in agreement with the results from P. amabilis and P. schilleriana.
gene expression regulation
reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction
amino acid sequences
Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 2009 Jan., v. 134, no. 1
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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