The CHS genes encoding chalcone synthase for flavonoid biosynthesis in the common and Japanese morning glories comprise a multigene family. Among these Ipomoea CHS genes, the CHS-D gene is the most abundantly expressed in the pigmented young flower buds and is primarily responsible for flower pigmentation. Majority of the remaining CHS transcripts in the flower buds are produced from the CHS-E gene. We characterized the genomic DNA segments of these CHS-D and CHS-E genes. Both genes have two exons with identical intron positions and carry several copies of two mobile element-like sequences with short terminal inverted repeats, MELS3 and MELS6 of around 200-300 bp. Small tandem repeats were also found in these CHS gene regions. The CHS-D and CHS-E genes are expressed predominantly in flower limbs and tubes, respectively. These structural and functional features and their evolutionary implications are discussed.
1999 by The Genetics Society of Japan