Foliar Anthocyanins and Proanthocyanidins in Six Ornamental Varieties of Acer Palmatum

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Anthocyanins are one of the richest pigments, which belong to flavonoid compounds in plant kingdom. They have many biological and ecological functions. Over the past many years, numerous efforts have been made to determine the biosynthetic pathway of anthocyanins and also to identify several regulatory proteins mainly in flowers and fruits of model plants and crop plants. However, many questions concerning the metabolism of anthocyanins in foliage remains unsolved. One example is “How can developmental processes impact on accumulation patterns of anthocyanins in leaves†. In this study, we choose several cultivars from one of the most popular ornamental plants Acer palmatum Thunb. to understand the mechanism of developmental changes of pigmentation in leaf. Several other maple species were also analyzed. We propose that the metabolism of anthocyanins play an essential role in such changes. We use an integrated approach of phytochemistry and metabolic profiling to determine the biosynthesis and metabolism of anthocyanins and their impacts on foliage color. Proanthocyanidin analysis was carried out as well to determine their relationship to both anthocyanin production and foliar coloration. We have found that even for green leaves with no/trace amount of detectable anthocyanins, the biosynthetic pathway of anthocyanidin/proanthocyanidin is still activated. Our results indicate that metabolic channeling directing the anthocyanin pathway to the proanthocyanidin biosynthesis plays a very important role in pigmentation pattern change along developmental processes.



Acer, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, pigmentation pattern





Plant Biology