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Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2006;57:761-80.

The genetics and biochemistry of floral pigments.

Author information

1
Department of Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology, Plant Biotechnology Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA. grotewold.1@osu.edu

Abstract

Three major groups of pigments, the betalains, the carotenoids, and the anthocyanins, are responsible for the attractive natural display of flower colors. Because of the broad distribution of anthocyanins (synthesized as part of the flavonoid pathway) among the flowering plants, their biosynthesis and regulation are best understood. However, over the past few years, significant progress has been made in understanding the synthesis and participation of carotenoids (derived from isoprenoids) and betalains (derived from tyrosine) in flower pigmentation. These three families of pigments play important ecological functions, for example in the attraction of pollinating animals. Anthocyanins in particular have also been the target of numerous biotechnological efforts with the objective of creating new, or altering the properties of existing, coloring compounds. The focus of this review is to examine the biosynthesis, regulation, and contribution to flower coloration of these three groups of pigments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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