Genetic control of chalcone isomerase activity in flowers of Dianthus caryophyllus

G. Forkmann, B. Dangelmayr

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In flowers of Dianthus caryophyllus (carnation), the gene I is concerned with a discrete step in flavonoid biosynthesis, Genotypes with recessive (ii) alleles produce yellow flowers, which contain the chalcone isosalipurposide (naringenin-chalcone-2′-glucoside) as the major petal pigment, but in genotypes with wild-type alleles flavonols and anthocyanins can be formed and the flowers are white or red. Enzymatic measurements on petal extracts of four strains with different flower coloration revealed a clear correlation between accumulation of chalcone in recessive genotypes and deficiency of chalcone isomerase (E.C. activity. From the chemogenetic and enzymological evidence it can be concluded that naringenin-chalcone is the first product of the synthesis of the flavonoid skeleton and that only the conversion of naringenin-chalcone to naringenin furnishes the substrate for the further reactions to flavonol and anthocyanin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-527
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Genetics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Jun 1980
Externally publishedYes


  • Dianthus
  • chalcone accumulation
  • chalcone isomerase
  • flavonoid biosynthesis
  • genetic block


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