Identification of Genes Involved in Flavonoid Biosynthesis of Chinese Narcissus (Narcissus tazetta L. var. chinensis)

Wang, G.; Yang, B.; Wu, J.; Luo, P.; Anwar, M.; Allan, A.C.; Lin-Wang, K.; Espley, R.V.; Zeng, L.

Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 36(5-6): 812-821


ISSN/ISBN: 0735-9640
Accession: 084629988

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Chinese narcissus (Narcissus tazetta L. var. chinensis Roem.) is a popular flower in Asia. However, flower colors are limited with all cultivars having a white perianth and yellow corona. Previous studies have shown no anthocyanin accumulation in this species. The reason for an absence of anthocyanins remains unknown, with the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway in this flower recently being investigated. In this study, a transcriptomic approach combined with gene expression and biochemical analysis was used to predict and annotate genes in the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway. Results showed that the major flavonoid metabolites are flavonols and proanthocyanidins. Proanthocyanidin biosynthesis is exclusively catechin-based, with the gene encoding leucoanthocyanidin reductase (LAR) being well expressed. We identified 16 unigenes encoding key enzymes involved in flavonoid biosynthesis. Flavonol synthase (FLS) and dihydroflavonol reductase (DFR) appear to play important roles in regulating proanthocyanidin and flavonol levels, while anthocyanidin synthase (ANS) expression is not detected. Our results suggest that the absence of anthocyanins in Chinese narcissus is due to high expression of Lar and FLS, and a lack of Ans expression.