GA as a regulatory link between the showy floral traits color and scent

Jasmin Ravid, Ben Spitzer-Rimon, Yumiko Takebayashi, Mitsunori Seo, Alon Cna'ani, Javiera Aravena-Calvo, Tania Masci, Moran Farhi, Alexander Vainstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Emission of volatiles at advanced stages of flower development is a strategy used by plants to lure pollinators to the flower. We reveal that GA negatively regulates floral scent production in petunia. We used Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression of GA-20ox in petunia flowers and a virus-induced gene silencing approach to knock down DELLA expression, measured volatile emission, internal pool sizes and GA levels by GC-MS or LC–MS/MS, and analyzed transcript levels of scent-related phenylpropanoid-pathway genes. We show that GA has a negative effect on the concentrations of accumulated and emitted phenylpropanoid volatiles in petunia flowers; this effect is exerted through transcriptional/post-transcriptional downregulation of regulatory and biosynthetic scent-related genes. Both overexpression of GA20-ox, a GA-biosynthesis gene, and suppression of DELLA, a repressor of GA-signal transduction, corroborated GA's negative regulation of floral scent. We present a model in which GA-dependent timing of the sequential activation of different branches of the phenylpropanoid pathway during flower development may represent a link between the showy traits controlling pollinator attraction, namely color and scent.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)411-422
Number of pages12
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust


  • GA
  • floral scent
  • petunia
  • phenylpropanoid
  • showy trait
  • volatile


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