Analysis of Flower Color Variations at Different Developmental Stages in Two Honeysuckle (Lonicera Japonica Thunb.) Cultivars

in HortScience

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.

Contributor Notes

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).

Corresponding author. E-mail: 043081@htu.cn.

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    The morphology of flowers at different developmental stages in two Lonicera japonica cultivars. (A) Young period. (B) Three green period. (C) Two white period. (D) Great white period. (E) Silver period. (F) Golden period.

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    The morphology of corolla cross-sections and glandularia during the six developmental stages in two Lonicera japonica cultivars. The morphology of corolla cross-sections during the six developmental stages of ‘Damaohua’: (A) Young period. (B) Three green period. (C) Two white period. (D) Great white period. (E) Silver period. (F) Golden period. The morphology of glandularia during the six developmental stages of ‘Damaohua’: (a) Young period. (b) Three green period. (c) Two white period. (d) Great white period. (e) Silver period. (f) Golden period. The morphology of corolla cross-sections during the six developmental stages of ‘Yujin 2’: (G) Young period. (H) Three green period. (I) Two white period. (J) Great white period. (K) Silver period. (L) Golden period. The morphology of glandularia during the six developmental stages of ‘Yujin 2’: (g) Young period. (h) Three green period. (i) Two white period. (j) Great white period. (k) Silver period. (l) Golden period.

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    (A) Chlorophyll content in flowers or buds, (B) carotenoid content, and (C) total flavonoid content in ‘Damaohua’ and ‘Yujin 2’. The x-axis represents the six developmental stages of flowers; 1, young period; 2, three green period; 3, two white period; 4, great white period; 5, silver period; 6, golden period.

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