Expression balances of structural genes in shikimate and flavonoid biosynthesis cause a difference in proanthocyanidin accumulation in persimmon (Diospyros kaki Thunb.) fruit

Planta. 2009 Oct;230(5):899-915. doi: 10.1007/s00425-009-0991-6. Epub 2009 Aug 8.


Persimmon fruits accumulate a large amount of proanthocyanidin (PA) during development. Fruits of pollination-constant and non-astringent (PCNA) type mutants lose their ability to produce PA at an early stage of fruit development, while fruits of the normal (non-PCNA) type remain rich in PA until fully ripened. To understand the molecular mechanism for this difference, we isolated the genes involved in PA accumulation that are differentially expressed between PCNA and non-PCNA, and confirmed their correlation with PA content and composition. The expression of structural genes of the shikimate and flavonoid biosynthetic pathways and genes encoding transferases homologous to those involved in the accumulation of phenolic compounds were downregulated coincidentally only in the PCNA type. Analysis of PA composition using the phloroglucinol method suggested that the amounts of epigallocatechin and its 3-O-gallate form were remarkably low in the PCNA type. In the PCNA type, the genes encoding flavonoid 3'5' hydroxylase (F3'5'H) and anthocyanidin reductase (ANR) for epigallocatechin biosynthesis showed remarkable downregulation, despite the continuous expression level of their competitive genes, flavonoid 3' hydroxylation (F3'H) and leucoanthocyanidin reductase (LAR). We also confirmed that the relative expression levels of F3'5'H to F3'H, and ANR to LAR, were considerably higher, and the PA composition corresponded to the seasonal expression balances in both types. These results suggest that expressions of F3'5'H and ANR are important for PA accumulation in persimmon fruit. Lastly, we tested enzymatic activity of recombinant DkANR in vitro, which is thought to be an important enzyme for PA accumulation in persimmon fruits.

MeSH terms

  • Biopolymers / chemistry
  • Biopolymers / metabolism
  • Diospyros / enzymology
  • Diospyros / genetics*
  • Diospyros / growth & development
  • Flavonoids / biosynthesis*
  • Fruit / enzymology
  • Fruit / genetics*
  • Fruit / growth & development
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / genetics
  • Pollination / genetics
  • Proanthocyanidins / chemistry
  • Proanthocyanidins / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Shikimic Acid / metabolism*
  • Time Factors


  • Biopolymers
  • Flavonoids
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • proanthocyanidin
  • Shikimic Acid