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Plant Cell Rep. 2004 Jan;22(6):415-21. Epub 2003 Sep 18.

Heterologous expression of the flavonoid 3',5'-hydroxylase gene of Vinca major alters flower color in transgenic Petunia hybrida.

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Faculty of Agriculture, Niigata University, 2-8050 Igarashi, 950-2181, Niigata, Japan.


Flavonoid 3',5'-hydroxylase (F3'5'H) is the key enzyme for the expression of blue or purple flower color. A full-length cDNA for the F3'5'H gene was cloned from petals of Vinca major, and its genomic clone, designated VmFH1 (accession number AB078781 in the GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ databases), was isolated from leaves by a PCR-based strategy. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that VmFH1 contains one intron and an open reading frame encoding a polypeptide of 506 amino acid residues. The deduced amino acid sequence shows between 51% and 83% identity with those of previously reported F3'5'H genes. Southern blot analysis showed that there are 3-4 copies of the F3'5'H gene in the genome of V. major. Transcripts of the F3'5'H gene were detected in young flower petals but not in leaves as revealed by RT-PCR analysis. When VmFH1 was expressed in transgenic Petunia hybrida under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter, some transgenic plants showed drastic flower color alteration from red to deep red with deep purple sectors. These transgenic plants accumulated 3',5'-hydroxylated anthocyanins in their petals, which were never detected in non-transgenic plants by high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. These results indicate that VmFH1 isolated from V. major encodes F3'5'H and is active in a heterologous plant species.

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