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Identification and characterization of seed-specific transcription factors regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis in black rice.


Black rice is rich in anthocyanin and is expected to have more healthful dietary potential than white rice. We assessed expression of anthocyanin in black rice cultivars using a newly designed 135 K Oryza sativa microarray. A total of 12,673 genes exhibited greater than 2.0-fold up- or down-regulation in comparisons between three rice cultivars and three seed developmental stages. The 137 transcription factor genes found to be associated with production of anthocyanin pigment were classified into 10 groups. In addition, 17 unknown and hypothetical genes were identified from comparisons between the rice cultivars. Finally, 15 out of the 17 candidate genes were verified by RT-PCR analysis. Among the genes, nine were up-regulated and six exhibited down-regulation. These genes likely play either a regulatory role in anthocyanin biosynthesis or are related to anthocyanin metabolism during flavonoid biosynthesis. While these genes require further validation, the results here underline the potential use of the new microarray and provide valuable insight into anthocyanin pigment production in rice.