PerspectivePlant Biology

Seeing Red

Science  17 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5605, pp. 352-353
DOI: 10.1126/science.1081096

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Although flavonoids contribute to the red, violet, and blue pigmentation of many flowers and seeds, their biosynthetic pathway is still being elucidated. In their Perspective, Bartel and Matsuda discuss new work (Xie et al.) revealing that the biosynthetic enzyme BANYULS is important for regulating the relative amounts of two types of flavonoids, the anthocyanins and the condensed tannins, both of which are powerful antioxidants that confer health benefits on humans when eaten.