1 Green Medicine Biotechnology Henan Engineering Laboratory, Engineering Technology Research Center of Nursing and Utilization of Genuine Chinese Crude Drugs in Henan Province, College of Life Science, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang 453007, China
Lonicera japonica Thunb., known as Japanese honeysuckle or golden-and-silver honeysuckle, belongs to the honeysuckle family and is native to eastern Asia, including China, Japan, and Korea. Microscopy, spectrophotometry, colorimetry, and the Royal Horticulture Society of Colorimetric Card (RHSCC) were used to compare and analyze the pigment distribution, content, and color variations in the Yujin 2 and Damaohua cultivars at different developmental stages. There were notable differences in the corolla color and the cross-section color between different developmental stages and different varieties. The lightness (L*), redness (a*), and yellowness (b*) values were calculated for each period for the two cultivars to observe variation trends. The chlorophyll content in the corollas of both cultivars showed declining trends with different rates. The chlorophyll content decreased rapidly from the young period to the two white period, and changed gradually from the two white period to the golden period. Moreover, the carotenoid content declined slightly from the young period to the silver period and rose sharply during the golden period. The ratio of these two pigment contents increased dramatically during the golden period: by 11.51 and 6.53 times in ‘Yujin 2’ and ‘Damaohua’, respectively. There were significant differences in corolla color, cross-section color, and the content of three pigments between the two varieties of honeysuckle. distribution and variation of pigments were the key factors affecting the flower color of honeysuckle. This study provides a basis for the identification and breeding of honeysuckle varieties and lays a foundation for further studies on the function and molecular mechanisms of pigments.
Special subsidies were provided from the Public Health Services of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2017 [(2017)66] and Henan Province Enterprise Technology Innovation Guidance Special Project (172107000031).
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