2016 Volume 85 Issue 2 Pages 177-186
Bicolor flowering dahlias generally produce inflorescences with bicolor petals characterized by a colored basal part and a white tip; however, they frequently produce single-colored petals. This petal color lability prevents uniform production of cut or pot flowers of bicolor dahlias and reduces the economic value of bicolor cultivars. In this study, to reveal the underlying mechanism and control color lability, the pattern of occurrence of single-colored petals was characterized in a red–white bicolor flowering cultivar ‘Yuino’. ‘Yuino’ produced inflorescences with bicolor petals, red petals, and both red and bicolor petals. Red petals occurred almost always at the outer whorls or sectorally in a mixed inflorescence, similar to a chimera or a lateral mutant. The occurrence of red petals was higher in field experiments during May to December than in greenhouse experiments during October to next July. We identified the “R-line” plant, which produced red petals with high frequency during the winter to spring cultivation; this characteristic to produce red petals with high frequency was retained through vegetative propagation. There were strong relationships between inflorescence color and leaf phenotype; red petal-producing plants accumulated flavonoids in leaves, whereas only bicolor petal-producing plants tended not to accumulate flavonoid in leaves. This suggests that petal color of ‘Yuino’ is associated with flavonoid synthetic potential in shoot. Therefore, a phenotypic difference is observed not only in petal colors but also at the whole plant level.