Molecular characterization of a stable antisense chalcone synthase phenotype in strawberry (Fragaria ananassa)

S. Lunkenbein, H. Coiner, C.H. de Vos, J.G. Schaart, M.J. Boone, F.A. Krens, W. Schwab, E.M.J. Salentijn

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57 Citations (Scopus)


An octaploid (Fragaria × ananassa cv. Calypso) genotype of strawberry was transformed with an antisense chalcone synthase (CHS) gene construct using a ripening related CHS cDNA from Fragaria × ananassa cv. Elsanta under the control of the constitutive CaMV 35S promoter via Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Out of 25 transgenic lines, nine lines showed a reduction in CHS mRNA accumulation of more than 50% as compared to the untransformed cv. Calypso control. The antisense CHS construct was found to be integrated into the genome, with a copy number ranging from one to four. The pigmentation of the fruit was only affected when less than 5% of the control CHS expression level was detected. A stable antisense phenotype over a period of 4 years was obtained in the primary transgenic lines at a rate of 1:20. As a consequence of the reduced activity of CHS, the levels of anthocyanins, flavonols, and proanthocyanidins were downregulated and precursors of the flavonoid pathway were shunted to the phenylpropanoid pathway leading to highly increased levels of cinnamoyl glucose (520% of control), caffeoyl glucose (816% of control), and feruloyl glucose (1092% of control) as well as p-coumaryl alcohol (363% of control) and p-coumaryl-1-acetate (1079% of control), which occur only as trace components in untransformed control fruits. These results demonstrate that the introduction of an antisense CHS construct in strawberry results in an unpredictable biochemical phenotype, thereby confirming that CHS function is an important regulatory point of substrate flow between the flavonoid and the phenylpropanoid pathways
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2145-2153
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • agrobacterium-mediated transformation
  • plant polyketide biosynthesis
  • shoot regeneration
  • phenolic-compounds
  • transgenic plants
  • dna microarrays
  • flower color
  • ms detection
  • glycine-max
  • gene

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