Increased anthocyanin accumulation in aster flowers at elevated temperatures due to magnesium treatment

Liat Shaked-Sachray, David Weiss, Moshe Reuveni, Ada Nissim-Levi, Michal Oren-Shamir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Temperature is one of the main external factors affecting anthocyanin accumulation in plant tissues: low temperatures cause an increase and elevated temperatures cause a decrease in anthocyanin concentration. Several metals have been shown to increase the half-life time of anthocyanins, by forming complexes with them. We studied the combined effect of elevated temperatures and increased metal concentrations on the accumulation of anthocyanins in aster 'Sungal' flowers. It has been found that magnesium treatment of aster plants or detached flower buds, partially prevents colour fading at elevated temperatures. Anthocyanin concentration of aster 'Sungal' flowers grown at 29°C/21°C day/night, respectively, was about half that of flowers grown at 17°C/9°C. The activity of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and chalcone isomerase (CHI) decreased as the temperature increased. Treatment of both whole plants and detached flower buds grown at elevated temperatures in the presence of magnesium salts, increased flower anthocyanin concentration by up to 80%. Measurement of magnesium following these treatments revealed an increased level of the metal in the petals, suggesting a direct effect. Magnesium treatment does not seem to cause increased synthesis of anthocyanin through a stress-related reaction, since the activities of both PAL and CHI did not increase due to this treatment. The results of this study show that increasing magnesium levels in aster petals prevents the deleterious effect of elevated temperatures on anthocyanin accumulation, thus enhancing flower colour.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)559-565
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


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