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Journal of Plant Sciences
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 88 - 94

Isolation and Characterization of Dihydroflavonol 4-reductase Gene in Dendrobium Flowers

W. Pitakdantham, T. Sutabutra, P. Chiemsombat and C. Pitaksutheepong    

Abstract: Dendrobium Sonia ‘Earsakul’ and Dendrobium Red Bull are widely cultivated for commercial production as cut flower orchid in Thailand. Their purple flower colors are controlled by a series of enzyme which contribute to production of anthocyanin pigments. This study was aimed to isolate dihydroflavonol 4-reductase gene, one of the key enzyme in anthocyanin synthetic pathway from two Dendrobium orchids and to study gene expression pattern during developmental stages of flower. A full-length cDNA clone of DFR gene was obtained from both Dendrobium cultivars. The cDNA clones contained 1,059 bp and encoded 352 amino acids. Multiple alignment of amino acid sequences showed that the dihydroflavonol 4-reductase of Dendrobium Sonia ‘Earsakul’ and Dendrobium Red Bull exhibited high homology to those of Dendrobium hybrid ‘Uniwai Prince’ and Dendrobium hybrid ‘Greeting Fragrance’(99% identity). Phylogenetic tree revealed that the dihydroflavonol 4-reductase of Dendrobium orchids were closer relatedness than those of other orchid plants like Bromheadia and Oncidium. Relative quantification analysis of dihydroflavonol 4-reductase gene expression in floral tissues at five developmental stages of Dendrobium Sonia ‘Earsakul’ and Dendrobium Red Bull showed that expression of the dihydroflavonol 4-reductase gene was largely detected in young flower buds at the early stage of pigmentation. In open and fully colored flowers, transcription of the gene was decreased to an undetectable level.

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