Cloning and Functional Characterization of Dihydroflavonol 4-Reductase Gene Involved in Anthocyanin Biosynthesis of Chrysanthemum
Lim, S.-H.; Park, B.; Kim, D.-H.; Park, S.; Yang, J.-H.; Jung, J.-A.; Lee, J.; Lee, J.-Y.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21(21)
ISSN/ISBN: 1422-0067 PMID: 33120878 DOI: 10.3390/ijms21217960
Dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) catalyzes a committed step in anthocyanin and proanthocyanidin biosynthesis by reducing dihydroflavonols to leucoanthocyanidins. However, the role of this enzyme in determining flower color in the economically important crop chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.) is unknown. Here, we isolated cDNAs encoding DFR from two chrysanthemum cultivars, the white-flowered chrysanthemum "OhBlang" (CmDFR-OB) and the red-flowered chrysanthemum "RedMarble" (CmDFR-RM) and identified variations in the C-terminus between the two sequences. An enzyme assay using recombinant proteins revealed that both enzymes catalyzed the reduction of dihydroflavonol substrates, but CmDFR-OB showed significantly reduced DFR activity for dihydrokaempferol (DHK) substrate as compared with CmDFR-RM. Transcript levels of anthocyanin biosynthetic genes were consistent with the anthocyanin contents at different flower developmental stages of both cultivars. The inplanta complementation assay, using Arabidopsis thaliana dfr mutant (tt3-1), revealed that CmDFR-RM, but not CmDFR-OB, transgenes restored defective anthocyanin biosynthesis of this mutant at the seedling stage, as well as proanthocyanidin biosynthesis in the seed. The difference in the flower color of two chrysanthemums can be explained by the C-terminal variation of CmDFR combined with the loss of CmF3H expression during flower development.