The yellow colour of Chrysanthemum segetum petals is due to the presence of the 7-O-glucosides of quercetin and particularly gossypetin (8-hydroxyquercetin). In petal extracts of C. segetum an enzyme was demonstrated which catalyzes the transfer of the glucosyl moiety of uridine 5'-diphosphoglucose (UDPG) to the 7-hydroxyl group of flavonols with gossypetin and quercetin as the best substrates. Besides flavonols flavanones and flavones were found to be glucosylated in the 7-position. The pH-optimum of the reaction highly depended on the substrate used. With quercetin as substrate, maximal enzyme activity occurred at a pH of 8.25 and a temperature of 25 degrees C, but 7-O-glucosylation also proceeded at low temperatures. Studies on temperature stability revealed, that there was no influence on the glucosylation reaction up to 40 degrees C. Higher temperatures led to a loss of enzyme activity. Using gossypetin as a substrate a similar course of temperature stability was observed. Addition of Mg2+, Ca2+ and KCN slightly stimulated 7-O-glucosylation, whereas Co2+, Cu2+, Fe2+, Hg2+, p-hydroxymercuribenzoate and N-ethylmaleimide showed a strong inhibitory effect. Additional enzymatic studies were performed with the commercial strain "Stern des Orients" where gossypetin 7-O-glucoside is restricted to the inner parts of the petals. For enzyme extracts from both parts of the petals gossypetin was found to be the most attractive substrate. In comparison to quercetin (133.4 mu kat/kg protein) an about three times higher specific activity of the 7-O-glucosyltransferase(s) was determined with gossypetin (382.1 mu kat/kg protein) as substrate, indicating that hydroxylation of quercetin in 8-position to gossypetin precedes 7-O-glucosylation.