Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPACT OF EARLY DIETARY FACTORS ON CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND HEALTH

Location: Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center

Title: The purple cauliflower arises from activation of a myb transcription factor

Authors
item Chiu, Li-Wei -
item Zhou, Xiangjun -
item Burke, Sarah -
item Wu, Xianli -
item Prior, Ronald L -
item Li, Li -

Submitted to: Journal of Plant Physiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 17, 2010
Publication Date: November 1, 2010
Citation: Chiu, L., Zhou, X., Burke, S., Wu, X., Prior, R., Li, L. 2010. The purple cauliflower arises from activation of a myb transcription factor. Journal of Plant Physiology. 154(3):1470-1480.

Interpretive Summary: Anthocyanins are responsible for the color of many flowers, fruits, and vegetables. An interesting and unique Purple (Pr) gene mutation in cauliflower confers an abnormal pattern of anthocyanin accumulation, giving the striking mutant phenotype of intense purple color in curds and a few other tissues. To unravel the nature of the Pr mutation in cauliflower, we isolated the Pr gene via a combination of candidate gene analysis and fine mapping. The successful isolation of Pr provides important information on the regulatory control of anthocyanin biosynthesis in Brassica vegetables, and offers a genetic resource for development of new varieties with enhanced health-promoting properties and visual appeal.

Technical Abstract: Anthocyanins are responsible for the color of many flowers, fruits, and vegetables. An interesting and unique Purple (Pr) gene mutation in cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var botrytis) confers an abnormal pattern of anthocyanin accumulation, giving the striking mutant phenotype of intense purple color in curds and a few other tissues. To unravel the nature of the Pr mutation in cauliflower, we isolated the Pr gene via a combination of candidate gene analysis and fine mapping. Pr encoded a R2R3 MYB transcription factor that exhibited tissue-specific expression, consistent with an abnormal anthocyanin accumulation pattern in the mutant. Transgenic Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and cauliflower plants expressing the Pr-D allele recapitulated the mutant phenotype, confirming the isolation of the Pr gene. Up-regulation of Pr specifically activated a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor and a subset of anthocyanin structural genes encoding flavonoid 3’-hydroxylase, dihydroflavonol 4-reductase, and leucoanthocyanidin dioxygenase to confer ectopic accumulation of pigments in the purple cauliflower. Our results indicate that the genetic variation including a Harbinger DNA transposon insertion in the upstream regulatory region of the Pr-D allele is responsible for the up-regulation of the Pr gene in inducing phenotypic change in the plant. The successful isolation of Pr provides important information on the regulatory control of anthocyanin biosynthesis in Brassica vegetables, and offers a genetic resource for development of new varieties with enhanced health-promoting properties and visual appeal.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page