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10 of the best fragrant flowers
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Join us on a month journey to see them all Go to the best beaches. Go to top of page Instagram Facebook Twitter. Therefore, making flower color improvements has always been an important goal for breeders. Over the years, much research has been conducted on the development and regulation of ornamental plant color.
Researchers have found that the development of flower color is related to petal tissue structure, pigment distribution and its types; it can be regulated through environmental factors and genetic engineering. In this review, we described recent advances toward a better understanding of the development and regulation of flower color in ornamental plants. When a petal is exposed to light, the light penetrates the pigment layer and is partially absorbed.
Some of the remaining light is reflected by the sponge tissue and passes back through the pigment layer. Therefore, it is sensed by our eyes as color. The color of flowers is related to the internal or surface tissue structure of a petal and the type and amount of pigments in the petal cells, but pigment plays a major role. Petal tissue structure is similar to leaf blade structure, which can be divided into four parts: upper epidermis, palisade tissue, sponge tissue, and lower epidermis.
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Under normal circumstances, petal pigments are mainly distributed in the upper epidermal cells, but they can also be found in the palisade tissue and the lower epidermis of dark colored petals. For example, pigment exists in the palisade tissue of pale blue grape hyacinth Qi et al. Typically, no pigment is distributed in the sponge tissue. However, its thickness and density is related to the brightness of flower color.
The thicker and denser the sponge tissue, the brighter the color An, Petal color change and transverse sections in the open process of Ipomoea tricolor Yoshida et al. A Whole flower growth. The right photos are half-cut buds; B Transverse sections of petals. Different pigments in the same tissue can exhibit different subcellular localization. In general, carotenoids are deposited in the plastids of cytoplasm, and flavonoids are deposited in vacuoles.
It has also been found that flavonoids can exist in different forms in cells, Markham et al. In addition, various shapes of petal epidermal cells can also have an important impact on flower color. Conical cells can increase the proportion of the incident light on epithelial cells, which enhances the light absorption by pigments, thereby leading to darkened flower color and enhanced color saturation. Flat cells can reflect more incident light, leading to lighter flower color. The epidermal cells with protruding papillae can generate a velvet sheen on the petals.
Noda et al. And Vignolini et al. In addition, Yoshida et al. Petal color and scanning electron micrograph of snapdragon and its mutant Noda et al. A i Wild-type flower with magenta petals; A ii Scanning electron micrograph of wild-type petal; B i Mutant flower with pink petals; B ii ; Scanning electron micrograph of a mutant petal. People have extracted pigments from colorful flowers to study their components since the midth century. After more than years of research, a wide variety of pigments have been found which could be generally divided into three groups, carotenoids, flavonoids, and alkaloids according to their chemical structures, cellular localizations and biochemical synthesis pathways.
Carotenoids are the most widely distributed pigments in nature. In addition to flowers, they can also be found in fruits, leaves and roots in higher plants. Carotenoids can be divided into the two major categories of carotene and lutein. Both groups are cyclization-produced organic molecules of a C40 polyene backbone with an ionone ring at the end.
This structure makes carotenoids able to absorb visible light of short wavelengths. The wavelength of light being absorbed is determined by the number and properties of double bonds. Therefore, carotenoids can be brilliant red, orange and yellow Britton et al. Although carotenoids exist in the petals of different ornamental species, their specific compositions are not the same in all species. Han et al. The major carotenoid components in yellow oncidium petals are trans-violaxanthin and 9- cis -violaxanthin Hieber et al.
Flavonoids are a large class of secondary metabolites, which are widely distributed in plants. Chemically, flavonoids are a collection of substances based on the structure of the 2-phenylchromone nucleus. Flavonoids are the most important pigment group and produce the widest spectrum of colors, ranging from pale yellow to blue-purple. They are one of the most important pigments in a variety of ornamental plant petals, such as chrysanthemum Chen, , dahlia Thill et al.
The composition of flavonoids may vary greatly among different color petals of the same species. Chen et al. He et al. This result occurs mainly because among flavonoids, anthocyanin belongs to the red series and controls pink to blue-violet flower colors. Other flavonoids belong to the pure yellow series, among which chalcone and aurone are deep yellow, and flavones, flavonols and flavanones are light yellow or nearly colorless.
Alkaloids are a class of cyclic organic substances that contain negative oxidized nitrogen atoms, including betalain, papaverine and berberine. Among them, betalain is a water-soluble nitrogen compound present in red beets also known as purple beetroots and some flowers, fruits, roots and leaves. To date, betalain has been found only in Caryophyllales plants except Caryophyllaceae and Molluginaceae whose colors are produced by anthocyanin.
Betalains are very important for flower color development. The difference between a flower being red or yellow depends on the presence of betacyanin or betaxanthin in the petals. Kugler et al. A large amount of betacyanin was accompanied by a trace amount of betaxanthin in the purple petals. Among of the aforementioned pigments, water soluble flavonoids containing anthocyanins and anthoxanthins can produce the full spectrum of colors from pale yellow to blue—purple.
Anthoxanthins mainly produce the colors from white to dark yellow in flowers. And anthocyanins are the main flavonoid group, they play an irreplaceable role in the color development of plants, exhibiting a wide range of colors, from pink to blue—purple. Therefore, this section will review the role of anthocyanins in flower color development. As flavonoids, anthocyanidins have a highly characteristic C6-C3-C6 carbon skeleton and the same biosynthetic origins.
Due to the instability of anthocyanidins, they exist mainly as anthocyanins i. Approximately anthocyanins have been reported Veitch and Grayer, , primarily derived from six common types of anthocyanidins, namely, pelargonidin, cyanidin, delphinidin, peonidin, petunidin, and malvidin Figure 3. In terms of biosynthesis, peonidin is derived from cyanidin, and petunidin and malvidin are derived from delphinidin; thus, pelargonidin, cyanidin, and delphinidin are the three main anthocyanidins Tanaka et al. The anthocyanin sugar groups mainly include glucose, rhamnose, xylose, galactose and arabinose, and the monosaccharaides compose uniform or non-uniform disaccharides and trisaccharides; 3-monoglucoside, 5-diglucoside, 3,5-diglycoside and 3,7-diglycoside are the most common Liu, The colors of the different anthocyanins are related to the environment and the substituents linked to the parental C6-C3-C6 carbon backbone.
Anthocyanins are a class of pigments that are soluble in water, methanol, ethanol, and acetone; they are insoluble in ether and chloroform. They can be precipitated by lead acetate and absorbed by activated carbon. Anthocyanin extract is distinguished from other flavonoids by strong visible light absorption.
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It exhibits a significant characteristic absorption peak at — nm in the visible region Zhao et al.