Forsythia is a popular yellow-flowered shrub, grown in temperate zones for its ornamental value and used in oriental medicine. This review provides information on botanical classification of Forsythia species, the history of conventional breeding and advances in biotechnology research. Success stories include the selection of dwarf and leaf-variegated varieties by γ-ray irradiation, the establishment of in vitro culture methods for mass propagation and the production of secondary metabolites. Establishment of genetic transformation procedures for F. x intermedia ‘Spring Glory’ boosted biotechnology research in the 1990s. Application of fundamental knowledge on plant pigment pathways led to the production of transgenic plants containing constructs for the genetic engineering of flavonoids and carotenoids. Double transformants ectopically expressing dfr and ans flavonoid genes provided a prominent example of gene stacking in ornamental plants and led to the modification of Forsythia flower color by inducing anthocyanin biosynthesis in petals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science