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Light Induces Petal Color Change in Quisqualis indica

Quisqualis indica is a spectacular vine that has yellow-green lance shaped leaves distributed mostly in tropical Asia. It is a perennial plant that normally grows in, low woods, riverside, rain forest and roadside. Yet, it can also be cultivated as ornamental plants because of its stunning flowers and mesmerizing fragrance at blooming. The flower of Quisqualis indica varies in three colors based on the flower age.  In which it started to blooms from white color petals then gradually darkens into pink then red as it reaches maturity. Moreover, the change of color in the flower is due to its potential role in attracting pollinators under cultivation conditions. However, the factors affecting these changes remain unknown. Therefore, the aim of this particular research is to determine some relevant factors affecting floral change color of Quisqualis indica.


Floral color change of Quisqualis indica

There were different parameters used in the study including pH, temperature, ethylene and light. It reveals that Quisqualis indica petal color changes reveals significantly in light rather than pH, temperature and ethylene. Wherein, it does not undergo color changes under dark condition regardless of temperature conditions. Light induced anthocyanin a gene that is responsible for color change in response to light. Thus, it implies that anthocyanin biosynthesis is regulated at the level of transcription in the presence of light.


Moreover, the pH value of Quisqualis indica over floral ontogeny did not influence the petal color change. Also flowers sprayed with ethylene did not reveals significant change suggesting that floral color change is not mediated with ethylene. On the other hand, the temperature of Quisqualis indica under 20–30 °C for four different light treatments did not change. In which at 15 °C or 35 °C the flowers did not open when exposed to constant temperature. Besides throughout the experimental period regardless of temperatures, floral color remains white.


Indeed, light is the primary factor that affects floral color change of Quisqualis indica rather than pH, ethylene and temperature. However buds and petals are sensitive to light yet flowers response highly to light than buds. But the final petal color is not expressed if only buds exposed to light which means that light during flowering period induce the final transcription.


Source: Prepared by Joan Tura from Plant Diversity 

Volume 40, Issue 1, February 2018, Pages 28-34

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