Anthocyanin is an important ingredient in health-improving supplements and
valuable for the food industry. Although studies have been done on breeding
crops containing high levels of anthocyanin, genetic variation in red or
purple cabbages (Brassica oleracea var. capitata F. rubra) has not yet been
studied thoroughly. The team of Hayoung Song and Hankuil Yi from the
Chungnam National University in South Korea identified the mechanism for the
formation of purple color in cabbages.
The BoMYBL2-1 gene is a repressor of anthocyanin synthesis in cabbage and
its expression is not detectable in purple cabbages. Analysis of purple
cabbages revealed that they have a defective BoMYBL2-1 gene. This finding
was further demonstrated via the analysis of other genes in the anthocyanin
synthesis. Molecular markers for purple cabbages were then developed and
This is the first report of molecular markers for purple cabbages. These
markers will be useful for the production of hybrids for functional foods,
and for industrial purposes requiring high anthocyanin content.