• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of plntcellLink to Publisher's site
Plant Cell. Mar 1992; 4(3): 253–262.
PMCID: PMC160126

Antisense inhibition of flavonoid biosynthesis in petunia anthers results in male sterility.


Inhibition of flower pigmentation in transgenic petunia plants was previously accomplished by expressing an antisense chalcone synthase (chs) gene under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter. This chimeric gene was not effective in inhibiting pigmentation in anthers, presumably because the viral CaMV 35S promoter was insufficiently expressed in cell types of this organ in which the pigments are produced. Insertion of the anther box, a homologous sequence found in other genes expressed in anthers, resulted in a modified expression pattern driven by this promoter, as monitored by the beta-glucuronidase (gus) gene. In addition to the basic CaMV 35S expression pattern in anthers, GUS activity was observed in tapetum cells when the modified promoter was fused to the gus gene. This promoter construct was subsequently used to drive an antisense chs gene in transgenic petunia, which led to the inhibition of pigment synthesis in anthers of five of 35 transformants. Transgenic plants with white anthers were male sterile due to an arrest in male gametophyte development. This finding indicated that flavonoids play an essential role in male gametophyte development.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (2.2M).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Beld M, Martin C, Huits H, Stuitje AR, Gerats AG. Flavonoid synthesis in Petunia hybrida: partial characterization of dihydroflavonol-4-reductase genes. Plant Mol Biol. 1989 Nov;13(5):491–502. [PubMed]
  • Bevan M. Binary Agrobacterium vectors for plant transformation. Nucleic Acids Res. 1984 Nov 26;12(22):8711–8721. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Drews GN, Goldberg RB. Genetic control of flower development. Trends Genet. 1989 Aug;5(8):256–261. [PubMed]
  • Herdt E, Sütfeld R, Wiermann R. The occurrence of enzymes involved in phenylpropanoid metabolism in the tapetum fraction of anthers. Cytobiologie. 1978 Aug;17(2):433–441. [PubMed]
  • A simple and general method for transferring genes into plants. Science. 1985 Mar 8;227(4691):1229–1231. [PubMed]
  • Hrazdina G, Wagner GJ. Metabolic pathways as enzyme complexes: evidence for the synthesis of phenylpropanoids and flavonoids on membrane associated enzyme complexes. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1985 Feb 15;237(1):88–100. [PubMed]
  • Jacobs M, Rubery PH. Naturally occurring auxin transport regulators. Science. 1988 Jul 15;241(4863):346–349. [PubMed]
  • Jefferson RA, Kavanagh TA, Bevan MW. GUS fusions: beta-glucuronidase as a sensitive and versatile gene fusion marker in higher plants. EMBO J. 1987 Dec 20;6(13):3901–3907. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Jorgensen R. Altered gene expression in plants due to trans interactions between homologous genes. Trends Biotechnol. 1990 Dec;8(12):340–344. [PubMed]
  • Lam E, Benfey PN, Gilmartin PM, Fang RX, Chua NH. Site-specific mutations alter in vitro factor binding and change promoter expression pattern in transgenic plants. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Oct;86(20):7890–7894. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lamb CJ, Lawton MA, Dron M, Dixon RA. Signals and transduction mechanisms for activation of plant defenses against microbial attack. Cell. 1989 Jan 27;56(2):215–224. [PubMed]
  • Long SR. Rhizobium-legume nodulation: life together in the underground. Cell. 1989 Jan 27;56(2):203–214. [PubMed]
  • Schmelzer E, Jahnen W, Hahlbrock K. In situ localization of light-induced chalcone synthase mRNA, chalcone synthase, and flavonoid end products in epidermal cells of parsley leaves. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 May;85(9):2989–2993. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Skriver K, Olsen FL, Rogers JC, Mundy J. cis-acting DNA elements responsive to gibberellin and its antagonist abscisic acid. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Aug 15;88(16):7266–7270. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • van der Krol AR, Mur LA, de Lange P, Mol JN, Stuitje AR. Inhibition of flower pigmentation by antisense CHS genes: promoter and minimal sequence requirements for the antisense effect. Plant Mol Biol. 1990 Apr;14(4):457–466. [PubMed]
  • van der Krol AR, Mur LA, Beld M, Mol JN, Stuitje AR. Flavonoid genes in petunia: addition of a limited number of gene copies may lead to a suppression of gene expression. Plant Cell. 1990 Apr;2(4):291–299. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • van der Meer IM, Spelt CE, Mol JN, Stuitje AR. Promoter analysis of the chalcone synthase (chsA) gene of Petunia hybrida: a 67 bp promoter region directs flower-specific expression. Plant Mol Biol. 1990 Jul;15(1):95–109. [PubMed]
  • van Tunen AJ, Mur LA, Brouns GS, Rienstra JD, Koes RE, Mol JN. Pollen- and anther-specific chi promoters from petunia: tandem promoter regulation of the chiA gene. Plant Cell. 1990 May;2(5):393–401. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from The Plant Cell are provided here courtesy of American Society of Plant Biologists


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...