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The Genetic Basis of Flower Color Differences in Nicotiana tabacum

  • Elizabeth W. McCarthy
  • Jacob B. Landis
  • Amelda Kurti
  • Amber J. Lawhorn
  • Amy LittEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Compendium of Plant Genomes book series (CPG)

Abstract

Nicotiana tabacum L accessions vary in flower color from light pink to magenta. The differences in flower color are attributable to differences in anthocyanin content. To determine the genetic basis of flower color differences, we generated transcriptomes and quantified transcript levels of flavonoid biosynthetic genes in four N. tabacum accessions and their diploid progenitors. High expression ratios of the flavonol synthase (FLS) gene to dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) gene are found in light-pink flowers, suggesting that competition between the FLS and DFR enzymes for the same substrates may drive the flux of the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway toward producing flavonols at the expense of anthocyanins, resulting in light-pink flowers. The high FLS:DFR expression ratio appears to be attributable to DFR activation later in development in light-pink flowers.

Keywords

Anthocyanin Flavonol Flower color Nicotiana Tobacco 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank James Giovannoni and Yimin Xu for transcriptome sequencing, Zhangjun Fei for help with sequence analysis, Loyal Goff for assistance with cummerbund, and Christopher Fiscus, Dinusha Maheepala, Glen Morrison, and Alex Rajewski for help with R programming.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth W. McCarthy
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jacob B. Landis
    • 1
    • 3
  • Amelda Kurti
    • 1
  • Amber J. Lawhorn
    • 1
  • Amy Litt
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Botany and Plant SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaRiverside, RiversideUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesSUNY CortlandCortlandUSA
  3. 3.School of Integrative Plant Science, Section of Plant Biology and the L.H. Bailey HortoriumCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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