Characterization of major enzymes and genes involved in flavonoid and proanthocyanidin biosynthesis during fruit development in strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa)

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The biosynthesis of flavonoids and proanthocyanidins was studied in cultivated strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) by combining biochemical and molecular approaches. Chemical analyses showed that ripe strawberries accumulate high amounts of pelargonidin-derived anthocyanins, and a larger pool of 3',4'-hydroxylated proanthocyanidins. Activities and properties of major recombinant enzymes were demonstrated by means of in vitro assays, with special emphasis on specificity for the biologically relevant 4'- and 3',4'-hydroxylated compounds. Only leucoanthocyanidin reductase showed a strict specificity for the 3',4'-hydroxylated leucocyanidin, while other enzymes accepted either hydroxylated substrate with different relative activity rates. The structure of late flavonoid pathway genes, leading to the synthesis of major compounds in ripe fruits, was elucidated. Complex developmental and spatial expression patterns were shown for phenylpropanoid and flavonoid genes in fruits throughout ripening as well as in leaves, petals and roots. Presented results elucidate key steps in the biosynthesis of strawberry flavonoid end products. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Joao Almeida
  • Eleonora D'Amico
  • Anja Preuss
  • Fabrizio Carbone
  • C. H. Ric de Vos
  • Bettina Deiml
  • Fabienne Mourgues
  • Gaetano Perrotta
  • Thilo C. Fischer
  • Arnaud G. Bovy
  • Stefan Martens
  • Carlo Rosati
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Industrial Biotechnology


  • developmental gene expression, proanthocyanidins, recombinant enzyme activity, strawberry, preference, substrate, flavonoids, fruit ripening
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-71
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch