Journal Article Tobacco streak virus (strain dahlia) suppresses post-transcriptional gene silencing of flavone synthase II in black dahlia cultivars and causes a drastic flower color change.

Deguchi, Ayumi  ,  Tatsuzawa, Fumi  ,  Hosokawa, Munetaka  ,  Doi, Motoaki  ,  Ohno, Sho

242 ( 3 )  , pp.663 - 675 , 2015-07-18 , Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Tobacco streak virus suppressed post-transcriptional gene silencing and caused a flower color change in black dahlias, which supported the role of cyanidin-based anthocyanins for black flower appearance. Black flower color of dahlia (Dahlia variabilis) has been attributed, in part, to the high accumulation of cyanidin-based anthocyanins that occurs when flavone synthesis is reduced because of post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) of flavone synthase II (DvFNS). There are also purple-flowering plants that have emerged from a black cultivar 'Kokucho'. We report that the purple color is not caused by a mutation, as previously thought, but by infection with tobacco streak virus (TSVdahlia), which suppresses the PTGS of DvFNS. When TSVdahlia was eliminated from the purple-flowering 'Kokucho' by leaf primordia-free shoot apical meristem culture, the resulting flowers were black. TSVdahlia-infected purple flowers had lower numbers of siRNAs to DvFNS than black flowers, suggesting that TSVdahlia has a silencing suppressor. The graft inoculation of other black cultivars with TSVdahlia altered their flower color drastically except for 'Fidalgo Blacky', a very deep black cultivar with the highest amount of cyanidin-based anthocyanins. The flowers of all six TSVdahlia-infected cultivars accumulated increased amounts of flavones and reduced amounts of cyanidin-based anthocyanins. 'Fidalgo Blacky' remained black despite the change in pigment accumulation, and the amounts of cyanidin-based anthocyanins in its TSVdahlia-infected plants were still higher than those of other cultivars. We propose that black flower color in dahlia is controlled by two different mechanisms that increase the amount of cyanidin-based anthocyanins: DvFNS PTGS-dependent and -independent mechanisms. If both mechanisms occur simultaneously, the flower color will be blacker than if only a single mechanism is active.

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