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Plant Cell Physiol. 2005 Nov;46(11):1879-83. Epub 2005 Sep 2.

The star-type color pattern in Petunia hybrida 'red Star' flowers is induced by sequence-specific degradation of chalcone synthase RNA.

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  • 1Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Japan.


Petunia hybrida 'Red Star' is a variety whose flowers exhibit a star-type red and white bicolor pattern. We analyzed the mRNA levels of six genes involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis. Only the level of chalcone synthase (CHS) mRNA was depressed in the unpigmented flower sectors. Both transcriptional activity and the accumulation of short interfering RNA of CHS in the unpigmented sectors were detected. Viral infection blocked the generation of CHS-silenced sectors. These results indicate that sequence-specific degradation of CHS RNA is the primary cause of the formation of white sectors in 'Red Star' flowers.

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