Identification of Mendel's white flower character

Hellens, R.P., Moreau, C., Lin-Wang, K., Schwinn, K.E., Thomson, S.J., Fiers, M.W.E.J., Frew, T.J., Murray, S.R., Hofer, J.M.I., Jacobs, J.M.E., Davies, K.M., Allan, A.C., Bendahmane, A., Coyne, C.J., Timmerman-Vaughan, G.M., & Noel Ellis, T.H. (2010) Identification of Mendel's white flower character. PLoS ONE, 5(10).

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The genetic regulation of flower color has been widely studied, notably as a character used by Mendel and his predecessors in the study of inheritance in pea.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We used the genome sequence of model legumes, together with their known synteny to the pea genome to identify candidate genes for the A and A2 loci in pea. We then used a combination of genetic mapping, fast neutron mutant analysis, allelic diversity, transcript quantification and transient expression complementation studies to confirm the identity of the candidates.


We have identified the pea genes A and A2. A is the factor determining anthocyanin pigmentation in pea that was used by Gregor Mendel 150 years ago in his study of inheritance. The A gene encodes a bHLH transcription factor. The white flowered mutant allele most likely used by Mendel is a simple G to A transition in a splice donor site that leads to a mis-spliced mRNA with a premature stop codon, and we have identified a second rare mutant allele. The A2 gene encodes a WD40 protein that is part of an evolutionarily conserved regulatory complex.

Impact and interest:

40 citations in Scopus
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35 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 71424
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Cited By (since 1996):13
Export Date: 6 May 2014
Source: Scopus
Art. No.: e13230
PubMed ID: 20949001
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013230
ISSN: 1932-6203
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 The Author(s)
Copyright Statement: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Public Domain declaration which stipulates that, once placed in the public
domain, this work may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose
Deposited On: 12 May 2014 05:39
Last Modified: 28 May 2014 01:09

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