The genes determining synthesis of pigments in cotton

  • Aleksandra Mikhailova Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, Saint Petersburg State University, Universitetskaya nab., 7–9, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation; Federal Research Center N. I. Vavilov All-Russian Institute of Plant Genetic Resources, B. Morskaya Str., 42–44, Saint Petersburg, 190000, Russian Federation
  • Ksenia Strygina Federal Research Center N. I. Vavilov All-Russian Institute of Plant Genetic Resources, B. Morskaya Str., 42–44, Saint Petersburg, 190000, Russian Federation; Federal Research Center Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Akademika Lavrentyeva, 10, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation
  • Elena Khlestkina Federal Research Center N. I. Vavilov All-Russian Institute of Plant Genetic Resources, B. Morskaya Str., 42–44, Saint Petersburg, 190000, Russian Federation; Federal Research Center Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Akademika Lavrentyeva, 10, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation


Naturally coloured cotton is environmentally friendly, since bleaching and chemical dyeing are not needed during textile production. Studying molecular-genetic mechanisms underpinning pigment production may facilitate breeding cotton with coloured fibre. In the current review we summarize the known data on structural and regulatory genes involved in biosynthesis of flavonoid pigments proanthocyanidins (PAs) in brown and caffeic acid (CA) in green fibre. The first chapter considers the first studies on fibre cotton inheritance, from the beginning of the last century. Then, we briefly review the biochemical and physico-chemical methods proving the presence of PAs in brown fibre and derivatives of CA in green cotton fibre. The biochemical analysis of coloured cotton fibre was followed by genetic studies of structural genes coding for enzymes participating in PA and CA biosynthesis, transport and oxidation processes. We summarize the data on the genes coding for transcription factors from the MBW (MYB-bHLH-WD40) regulatory complex, which controls flavonoid biosynthesis in coloured cotton fibre. The regulatory gene most interesting as a target for markers-assisted breeding and genome editing is GhTT2-3A.


brown fibre, caffeic acid, flavonoids, green fibre, Gossypium, MBW regulatory complex, proanthocyanidins


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How to Cite
Mikhailova, A., Strygina, K., & Khlestkina, E. (2019). The genes determining synthesis of pigments in cotton. Biological Communications, 64(2), 133–145.
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