Characterization of the Flavonoids from Petunia ×hybrida Flowers Expressing the A1 Gene of Zea mays

in HortScience
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  • 1 Florist and Nursery Crops, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD 20705

The flavonoids from flowers of transgenic Petunia ×hybrida Vilm. plants containing the Al gene from Zea mays L. were characterized. The A1 gene encodes the enzyme dihydroflavonol reductase and was introduced into a mutant petunia defective for this gene. Control, nontransgenic plants produced flowers that contained ≈ 50 ng anthocyanin/100 mg tissue dry weight. Anthocyanin distribution was 63% cyanidin, 28% delphinidin, and 9% pelargonidin. In contrast, the transgenic plants produced flowers that contained ≈ 500 ng anthocyanin/100 mg tissue dry weight, with 34% as cyanidin, 12% as delphlnidin, and 54% as pelargonidin. The increase in anthocyanin production in the transgenic plants resulted in a corresponding molar decrease in flavonol accumulation.

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