Two novel MYB transcriptional activators regulate floral and vegetative anthocyanin pigmentation patterns in Petunia : [a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Molecular Biology at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand]
Mr Albert investigated the genetic mechanisms controlling complex floral and vegetative pigmentation patterns in Petunia. He discovered two new MYB transcription factors that control the timing and spatial location of anthocyanin pigment production in flowers and leaves, giving rise to specific colour patterns. He showed that complex pigmentation patterns are formed by tightly controlling the expression of genes required to synthesise anthocyanin pigments and involves proteins that both activate genes and repress them from being expressed. The interactions between distinct classes of transcription factors form an intricate network and hierarchy, allowing fine control of gene expression and strict control of pigment production. These findings will aid in the development of ornamental plants with new pigmentation patterns and also this research serves as a model for how plants control the expression of genes to produce health-promoting plant compounds.