Brief Communications

Nature 435, 757-758 (9 June 2005) | doi:10.1038/nature435757a; Published online 8 June 2005

Plant biochemistry:  Anthocyanin biosynthesis in roses

Jun Ogata1, Yoshiaki Kanno1, Yoshio Itoh2, Hidehito Tsugawa1 & Masahiko Suzuki1

Anthocyanin is the principal pigment in flowers, conferring intense red-to-blue cyanic colours on petals and helping to attract pollinators. Its biosynthesis involves glycosylation steps that are important for the stability of the pigment and for its aqueous solubility in vacuoles1, 2. Here we describe anthocyanin biosynthesis in roses (Rosa hybrida), which is unlike the pathway used in other flowers in that it relies on a single enzyme to achieve glycosylation at two different positions on the precursor molecule. Phylogenetic analysis also indicates that this previously unknown glucosyltransferase enzyme may be unique to roses, with glycosylation having apparently evolved into a single stabilizing step in other plants.

  1. Aomori Green BioCenter, Nogi-Yamaguchi, Aomori 030-0142, Japan
  2. Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Technology, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Tokyo, 184-8588, Japan

Correspondence to: Masahiko Suzuki1 Email:


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