Juvenile-phase English ivy (Hedera helix L.) accumulates anthocyanin pigment in the hypodermis of stems and petioles, whereas mature-phase ivy does not. Lamina tissue of both phases of ivy accumulate flavonols, another class of the flavonoids, in response to sucrose and light treatment in vitro. However, juvenile- but not mature-phase lamina tissue accumulates anthocyanin in response to sucrose and light. The lack of anthocyanin accumulation in mature phase tissue is due to a lack of dihydroflavonol reductase (DFR) activity, which catalyzes a reaction late in the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway. The objective of this work was to determine the level of regulation of gene expression that limits DFR activity in mature phase tissue. There was an induction of DFR transcription and accumulation of DFR mRNA in juvenile-phase lamina tissue treated with sucrose and light. In contrast, transcription and mRNA accumulation of DFR was not detectable in treated mature-phase lamina tissue. The induction of DFR transcription in juvenile tissue required the combination of sucrose and light. There was an induction of transcription of chalcone synthase, which catalyzes the first committed reaction of flavonoid biosynthesis, in both juvenile- and maturephase lamina tissue, indicating that mature-phase tissue is responsive to sucrose and light treatment.
- Chalcone synthase
- Dihydroflavonol reductase