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Plant Sci. 2001 Feb 5;160(3):543-550.

Comparison of UDP-glucose:flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase (UFGT) gene sequences between white grapes (Vitis vinifera) and their sports with red skin.

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Persimmon and Grape Research Center, National Institute of Fruit Tree Science, Akitsu, 729-2494, Hiroshima, Japan


The expression of the UDP-glucose:flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase (UFGT) gene has been shown to be critical for anthocyanin biosynthesis in the grape berry. Using white cultivars and bud sports with red skin, we examined the expression of seven anthocyanin biosynthetic genes including the UFGT gene and compared the coding/promoter sequences of the UFGT gene. Northern blot analysis showed that the seven anthocyanin biosynthetic genes were expressed coordinately at higher levels in the red-skin sports than in the white-skin progenitors of the sports. It was especially notable that UFGT gene expression was detected only in the red-skin sports and Kyoho. However, there were no differences in either coding or promoter sequences between Italia (Vitis vinifera) and its red-skin sport Ruby Okuyama, or between Muscat of Alexandria (V. vinifera) and the red-skin sport Flame Muscat. From these findings, the phenotypic change from white to red in the sports is thought to be the result of a mutation in a regulatory gene controlling the expression of UFGT.

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