Endogenous gibberellin profile during christmas rose (Helleborus niger L.) flower and fruit development

Belay T. Ayele, Volker Magnus, Snježana Mihaljević, Tatjana Prebeg, Rozelinda Čož-Rakovac, Jocelyn A. Ozga, Dennis M. Reinecke, Lewis N. Mander, Yuji Kamiya, Shinjiro Yamaguchi, Branka Salopek-Sondi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Gibberellins (GAs) were identified and quantified during flower and fruit development in the Christmas rose (Helleborus niger L.), a native of southeastern Europe with a long international horticultural tradition. Physiologically, the plant differs from popular model species in two major respects: (1) following anthesis, the initially white or rose perianth (formed in this species by the sepals) turns green and persists until fruit ripening, and (2) the seed is shed with an immature embryo, a miniature endosperm, and a prominent perisperm as the main storage tissue. GA1 and GA4 were identified by full-scan mass spectra as the major bioactive GAs in sepals and fruit. LC-MS/MS system in accord with previously verified protocols also afforded analytical data on 12 precursors and metabolites of GAs. In the fruit, GA4 peaked during rapid pericarp growth and embryo development and GA1 peaked during the subsequent period of rapid nutrient accumulation in the seeds and continued pericarp enlargement. In the sepals, the flux through the GA biosynthetic pathway was highest prior to the light green stage when the photosynthetic system was induced. Unfertilized, depistillated, and deseeded flowers became less green than the seed-bearing controls; chlorophyll accumulation could be restored by applying GA1, GA4, and, less efficiently, GA3 to the deseeded fruit. The sepals of unfertilized and depistillated flowers indeed contained very low levels of GA4 and gradually decreasing levels of GA1. However, the concentrations of their precursors and metabolites were less affected. These data suggest that a signal(s) from the fruit stimulates GA biosynthesis in the sepals resulting in greening. The fruit-derived GAs appear to be mainly involved in pericarp growth and seed development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-209
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Plant Growth Regulation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Christmas rose
  • Fruit and seed development
  • Gibberellin identification and quantification
  • Helleborus niger L.
  • Perianth greening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Endogenous gibberellin profile during christmas rose (Helleborus niger L.) flower and fruit development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this