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Developmental changes in anthocyanin biosynthesis in plum skins and the effects of ethephon

X. Y. Zhang, S. L. Zhang, J. Luo, Z. W. Ye, Q. H. Gao, J. H. Du, X. Q. Wang
Journal of horticultural science & biotechnology 2009 v.84 no.5 pp. 495-498
Prunus salicina, anthocyanins, biosynthesis, biotechnology, chalcone isomerase, color, correlation, cultivars, ethephon, flowering, fruits, glucosyltransferases, horticulture, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, plums
The colour of plum (Prunus salicina Lindl.) is important for its commercial value.We have studied the differences in anthocyanin content and biosynthesis between the purple plum ‘Oishi Wase’, and the black plum ‘Black Amber’. The anthocyanin content of ‘Black Amber’ was five-times higher than in ‘Oishi Wase’. Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and UDP-glucose:flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase (UFGT) activities were higher, and were positively correlated with anthocyanin levels during the period of skin colouring in ‘Oishi Wase’, but not in ‘Black Amber’. Chalcone isomerase (CHI) exhibited the same pattern of activity in both cultivars.‘Black Amber’ was more sensitive to ethephon than ‘Oishi Wase’. Ethephon (at 1 µl ml–1) induced anthocyanin biosynthesis in ‘Black Amber’ skins at 30 d after full bloom (DAFB), but had no effect on the skin colour of ‘Oishi Wase’. Anthocyanin was detected in the skins of both cultivars following ethephon treatment at 70 DAFB, and UFGT activity was stimulated compared to control fruit.