2018 Volume 68 Issue 1 Pages 119-127
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.) is one of the most important floricultural crops in the world. Although the origin of modern chrysanthemum cultivars is uncertain, several species belonging to the family Asteraceae are considered to have been integrated during the long history of breeding. The flower color of ancestral species is limited to yellow, pink, and white, and is derived from carotenoids, anthocyanins, and the absence of both pigments, respectively. A wide range of flower colors, including purplish-red, orange, red, and dark red, has been developed by increasing the range of pigment content or the combination of both pigments. Recently, green-flowered cultivars containing chlorophylls in their ray petals have been produced, and have gained popularity. In addition, blue/violet flowers have been developed using a transgenic approach. Flower color is an important trait that influences the commercial value of chrysanthemum cultivars. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate flower pigmentation may provide important implications for the rationale manipulation of flower color. This review describes the pigment composition, genetics, and molecular basis of ray petal color formation in chrysanthemum cultivars.