Signal perception, transduction, and gene expression involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis

Joseph Mol*, Gareth Jenkins, Eberhard Schäfer, David Weiss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


Anthocyanin pigments provide fruits and flowers with their bright red and blue colors and are induced in vegetative tissues by various signals. The biosynthetic pathway probably represents one of the best-studied examples of higher plant secondary metabolism. It has attracted much attention of plant geneticists because of the dispensable nature of the compounds it produces. Not unexpectedly, several excellent reviews on anthocyanin biosynthesis have been published over the last 5 years (Dooner et al., 1991; Martin and Gerats, 1993a, 1993b; Koes et al., 1994; Holton and Cornish, 1995). These reviews emphasize the late steps of pigment biosynthesis rather than the early and intermediate events of signal perception and transduction. This review is broader and not only covers the identification of components of the anthocyanin signal perception/transduction networks but also provides a description of our current understanding of how they evoke the responses that they do. Progress has derived from a combination of biochemical, molecular and genetic studies. We discuss a range of relevant research to highlight the different experimental approaches being used and the diverse biological systems under investigation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)525-557
Number of pages33
JournalCritical Reviews in Plant Sciences
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1996


  • Anthocyanin
  • Chalcone synthase
  • Hormones
  • Phytochrome
  • Right
  • Stress
  • UV


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