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Journal Article

The potato R locus codes for dihydroflavonol 4-reductase

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Zhang, Y., Cheng, S., De Jong, D., Griffiths, H., & Halitschke, R. (2009). The potato R locus codes for dihydroflavonol 4-reductase. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 119(5), 931-937. doi:10.1007/s00122-009-1100-8.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-1DDE-A
The potato R locus is required for the production of red pelargonidin-based anthocyanin pigments in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). Red color also requires tissue-specific regulatory genes, such as D (for expression in tuber skin) and F (expression in flowers). A related locus, P, is required for production of blue/purple anthocyanins; P is epistatic to R. We have previously reported that the dihydroflavonol 4-reductase gene (dfr) co-segregates with R. To test directly whether R corresponds to dfr, we placed the allele of dfr associated with red color under the control of the CaMV 35S promoter and introduced it into the potato cultivar Prince Hairy (genotype dddd rrrr P-), which has white tubers and pale blue flowers. Transgenic Prince Hairy tubers remained white, but flower color changed to purple. Three independent transgenic lines, as well as a vector-transformed line, were then crossed with the red-skinned variety Chieftain (genotype D-R-pppp), to establish populations that segregated for D, R, P, and the dfr transgene or empty vector. Markers were used to genotype progeny at D and R. Progeny carrying the empty vector in the genetic background D-rrrr produced white or purple tubers, while progeny with the same genotype and the dfr transgene produced red or purple tubers. HPLC and LC–MS/MS analyses of anthocyanins present in Chieftain and in a red-skinned progeny clone with the dfr transgene in a D-rrrr background revealed no qualitative differences. Thus, dfr can fully complement R, both in terms of tuber color and anthocyanin composition.