The A locus that controls anthocyanin accumulation in pepper encodes a MYB transcription factor homologous to Anthocyanin2 of Petunia

Theor Appl Genet. 2004 Jun;109(1):23-9. doi: 10.1007/s00122-004-1625-9. Epub 2004 Mar 3.


Pepper plants containing the dominant A gene accumulate anthocyanin pigments in the foliage, flower and immature fruit. We previously mapped A to pepper chromosome 10 in the F(2) progeny of a cross between 5226 (purple-fruited) and PI 159234 (green-fruited) to a region that corresponds, in tomato, to the location of Petunia anthocyanin 2 ( An2), a regulator of anthocyanin biosynthesis. This suggested that A encodes a homologue of Petunia An2. Using the sequences of An2 and a corresponding tomato expressed sequence tag, we isolated a pepper cDNA orthologous to An2 that cosegregated with A. We subsequently determined the expression of A by Northern analysis, using RNA extracted from fruits, flowers and leaves of 5226 and PI 159234. In 5226, expression was detected in all stages of fruit development and in both flower and leaf. In contrast, A was not expressed in the sampled tissues in PI 159234. Genomic sequence comparison of A between green- and purple-fruited genotypes revealed no differences in the coding region, indicating that the lack of expression of A in the green genotypes can be attributed to variation in the promoter region. By analyzing the expression of the structural genes in the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway in 5226 and PI 159234, it was determined that, similar to Petunia, the early genes in the pathway are regulated independently of A, while expression of the late genes is A-dependent.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / genetics*
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacokinetics
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Capsicum / genetics*
  • Capsicum / metabolism
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Flowers / metabolism
  • Fruit / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / genetics*
  • Petunia
  • Pigmentation / genetics*
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism


  • Anthocyanins
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary