Fruit coloration and anthocyanin biosynthesis after bag removal in non-red and red apples (Malus × domestica Borkh.)

Molecules. 2013 Jan 25;18(2):1549-63. doi: 10.3390/molecules18021549.


In the present study, evolution of apple color (L* and a/b), the accumulation of anthocyanins and the activity of the related enzymes, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), chalcone isomerase (CHI), dihydroflavonol4-reductase (DFR) and UDP-Glucose: flavonoid-3-O-galactosyl transferase (UFGT), were investigated in bagged non-red apple cultivars ('Granny Smith' and 'Golden Delicious') and red apple cultivars ('Starkrimon' and 'Pink Lady'). Young fruits were bagged 40-45 days after flowering (DAF), and fruits of 'Golden Delicious' and 'Starkrimon' were uncovered and exposed to light 120 DAF, while those of 'Granny Smith' and 'Pink Lady' were exposed for 160 DAF. Results showed that cyanidin 3-galactoside (cy3-gal) was the most abundant anthocyanin in both non-red and red cultivars. Level of anthocyanins was higher in 'Granny Smith' than in 'Golden Delicious', indicating that red color was easier to develop in green cultivar 'Granny Smith' than in yellow cultivar 'Golden Delicious' after bag removal. The cy3-gal accumulation of non-red cultivars tested was not significantly correlated with PAL, CHI and DFR activity, but was significantly correlated with UFGT activity. During the reddening of non-red apples, UFGT may be the more important factor in the anthocyanin biosynthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / biosynthesis*
  • Anthocyanins / isolation & purification
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Crosses, Genetic*
  • Malus / enzymology
  • Malus / genetics
  • Malus / physiology*
  • Pigmentation / genetics
  • Pigmentation / physiology*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism


  • Anthocyanins
  • Plant Proteins