Not all anthocyanins are born equal: distinct patterns induced by stress in ArabidopsisReport as inadecuate

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, Volume 240, Issue 5, pp 931–940



Main Conclusion Different abiotic stress conditions induce distinct sets of anthocyanins, indicating that anthocyanins have different biological functions, or that decoration patterns of each anthocyanin are used for unique purposes during stress.

The induction of anthocyanin accumulation in vegetative tissues is often considered to be a response of plants to biotic or abiotic stress conditions. Arabidopsis thaliana Arabidopsis accumulates over 20 anthocyanins derived from the anthocyanidin cyanidin in an organ-specific manner during development, but the anthocyanin chemical diversity for their alleged stress protective functions remains unclear. We show here that, when grown in various abiotic stress conditions, Arabidopsis not only often accumulates significantly higher levels of total anthocyanins, but different stress conditions also favor the accumulation of different sets of anthocyanins. For example, the anthocyanin patterns of seedlings grown at pH 3.3 or in media lacking phosphate are very similar and characterized by relatively high levels of the anthocyanins A8 and A11. In contrast, anthocyanin inductive conditions AIC provided by high sucrose media are characterized by high accumulation of A9* and A5 relative to other stress conditions. The modifications present in each condition correlate reasonably well with the induction of the respective anthocyanin modification enzymes. Taken together, our results suggest that Arabidopsis anthocyanin profiles provide ‘fingerprints’ that reflect the stress status of the plants.

KeywordsAbiotic stress Anthocyanin pigmentation Flavonoid Abbreviations5GTAnthocyanin 5-O-glucosyltransferase

A5GlcMalTAnthocyanin 5-O-glucoside-6″-O-malonyltransferase

A3G2″XylTAnthocyanin 3-O-glucoside: 2″-O-xylosyltransferase

A3GlcCouTAnthocyanin 3-O-glucoside: 6″-O-p-coumaroyltransferase

AICAnthocyanin inductive condition

BLGU10Anthocyanin 3-O-6″-coumaroylglucoside: glycosyltransferase

HPLC–PDAHigh performance liquid chromatography–photodiode array

LC–MS-MSLiquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry

MSMurashige and Skoog

−PWithout phosphate

PAP1Production of anthocyanin pigment 1

ROSReactive oxygen species

SATSinapoyl-Glc:anthocyanin acyltransferase

SESinapate ester

Special topic: Anthocyanins. Guest editor: Stefan Martens.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1007-s00425-014-2079-1 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Nik Kovinich - Gilbert Kayanja - Alexandra Chanoca - Ken Riedl - Marisa S. Otegui - Erich Grotewold



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