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Rasika G. Mudalige-Jayawickrama, Michele M. Champagne, A. David Hieber, and Adelheid R. Kuehnle

Two full-length cDNA clones, Den-CHS-4 and Den-DFR-1, encoding chalcone synthase (CHS) and dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) were obtained from flower bud RNA of a lavender cyanidin-accumulating Dendrobium Sw. hybrid using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Northern analyses indicated that both genes are expressed in all developmental stages of buds, with highest expression in the medium-sized buds. RT-PCR analyses showed that DFR expression was confined to floral tissue while CHS was expressed in floral and vegetative tissues but not in pseudobulbs. The nucleotide sequence of a DFR clone isolated from a pale orange pelargonidin-accumulating Dendrobium hybrid was exactly the same as Den-DFR-1, ruling out the substrate specificity of DFR as a possible cause of the color difference.