Institute of Chemical Engineering
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Chalcon 3-hydroxylase

Projektnummer P 29552 (FWF Einzelprojekt)


The recently discovered chalcone 3-hydroxylase (CH3H), a cytochrome P450 dependent monooxygenase, catalyzes the introduction of a hydroxyl group in position 3 (B-ring) of chalcones. The reaction shows high similarity to the hydroxylation of flavonoids in position 3' which is catalyzed by the prominent flavonoid 3'-hydroxylase (F3'H). Despite the broad substrate specificity of F3'H accepting flavanones, flavones, flavonols and dihydroflavonols as substrates, common F3'Hs are not able to hydroxylate chalcones. Hydroxylation of chalcones plays an important role in the biosynthesis of anthochlor pigments (chalcones and aurones), which provide yellow flower colour in a number of ornamental plants and also form UV-honey guides in certain Asteraceae species. In addition, chalcones are the immediate precursors for the formation of flavonoids, which are health-beneficial compounds in plant-derived human diets and of isoflavonoid-based phytoalexins.

Current projects study structure function relationships, substrate specificities, phylogenetic relationships and the potential of chalcone 3-hydroxylase in breeding approaches for yellow flower colour. The sequence and its technological use was IPR protected by the TU Vienna and the patent was honoured with the KIWIE 2010 Silver Prize which was awarded by the Austrian Federal Minister of Science and Research Dr. Beatrix Karl.



FWF, Projectnumber  P 24331 - B16


2012 - 2015


Leader and Contact:

Privatdoz. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Heidrun Halbwirth


Projektass.(FWF) Dipl.-Ing. Silvija Miosic

Projektass.(FWF) Jürgen Greiner