464 The Biochemical Basis for Purple, Blue and Red Flower Colors in Calibrachoa LaLlave & Lexarza

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  • 1 Floral and Nursery Plants Research, U.S. National Arboretum, USDA, ARS, BARC-W, BLDG 010-A, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350

Recently, several new Calibrachoa La Llave & Lexarza cultivars have been developed with novel red and blue flowers. Most of the wild species of Calibrachoa have purple flowers. The difference in color between the red, blue, and purple flowers was not due to anthocyanin composition but to vacuolar pH. The pH of the red flowered cultivar was 4.8, while that of the blue flowered cultivar was 5.6. The wild purple flower species had an intermediate pH of 5.0. The difference in pH was genetically inherited.

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