JOURNAL ARTICLE

Flavonoid components and flower color change in transgenic tobacco plants by suppression of chalcone isomerase gene

Masahiro Nishihara, Takashi Nakatsuka, Saburo Yamamura
FEBS Letters 2005 November 7, 579 (27): 6074-8
16226261
A cDNA encoding chalcone isomerase (CHI) was isolated from the petals of Nicotiana tabacum and the effect of its suppression on flavonoid biosynthesis was analyzed in transgenic tobacco plants. CHI-suppression by RNA interference (RNAi) showed reduced pigmentation and change of flavonoid components in flower petals. The plants also accumulated high levels of chalcone in pollen, showing a yellow coloration. Our results first demonstrated that suppression of CHI by genetic transformation is possible in higher plants. This suggests that CHI plays a major part in the cyclization reaction from chalcone to flavanone, and that spontaneous reactions are few, if any, in tobacco plants.

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