The b gene of pea (Pisum sativum L.) encodes a defective flavonoid 3' 5' hydroxylase and confers pink flower colour

Carol Moreau, Mike J. Ambrose, Lynda Turner, Lionel Hill, Noel Ellis, Julie Margareth Hofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The inheritance of flower color in pea (Pisum sativum) has been studied for more than a century, but many of the genes corresponding to these classical loci remain unidentified. Anthocyanins are the main flower pigments in pea. These are generated via the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway, which has been studied in detail and is well conserved among higher plants. A previous proposal that the Clariroseus (B) gene of pea controls hydroxylation at the 5' position of the B ring of flavonoid precursors of the anthocyanins suggested to us that the gene encoding flavonoid 3',5'-hydroxylase (F3'5'H), the enzyme that hydroxylates the 5' position of the B ring, was a good candidate for B. In order to test this hypothesis, we examined mutants generated by fast neutron bombardment. We found allelic pink-flowered b mutant lines that carried a variety of lesions in an F3'5'H gene, including complete gene deletions. The b mutants lacked glycosylated delphinidin and petunidin, the major pigments present in the progenitor purple-flowered wild-type pea. These results, combined with the finding that the F3'5'H gene cosegregates with b in a genetic mapping population, strongly support our hypothesis that the B gene of pea corresponds to a F3'5'H gene. The molecular characterization of genes involved in pigmentation in pea provides valuable anchor markers for comparative legume genomics and will help to identify differences in anthocyanin biosynthesis that lead to variation in pigmentation among legume species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-768
Number of pages10
JournalPlant Physiology
Volume159
Issue number2
Early online date01 Apr 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2012

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