To identify candidate genes involved in Arabidopsis flavonoid biosynthesis, we applied transcriptome coexpression analysis and independent component analyses with 1388 microarray data from publicly available databases. Two glycosyltransferases, UGT79B1 and UGT84A2 were found to cluster with anthocyanin biosynthetic genes. Anthocyanin was drastically reduced in ugt79b1 knockout mutants. Recombinant UGT79B1 protein converted cyanidin 3-O-glucoside to cyanidin 3-O-xylosyl(1→2)glucoside. UGT79B1 recognized 3-O-glucosylated anthocyanidins/flavonols and uridine diphosphate (UDP)-xylose, but not 3,5-O-diglucosylated anthocyanidins, indicating that UGT79B1 encodes anthocyanin 3-O-glucoside: 2''-O-xylosyltransferase. UGT84A2 is known to encode sinapic acid: UDP-glucosyltransferase. In ugt84a2 knockout mutants, a major sinapoylated anthocyanin was drastically reduced. A comparison of anthocyanin profiles in ugt84a knockout mutants indicated that UGT84A2 plays a major role in sinapoylation of anthocyanin, and that other UGT84As contribute the production of 1-O-sinapoylglucose to a lesser extent. These data suggest major routes from cyanidin 3-O-glucoside to the most highly modified cyanidin in the potential intricate anthocyanin modification pathways in Arabidopsis.
© 2011 The Authors. The Plant Journal © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.