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Chemical analysis of seeds and seedlings of the CC and cc genotypes in Melilotus alba indicated that these alleles affect flavonoid biosynthesis. The CC seed coats contained orientin and iso-orientin, which were absent in the cc seed coats. The pigment responsible for the red pigmentation of young seedlings of CC genotypes was a cyanidin glycoside. The embryos of seeds of both the CC and cc genotypes contained a flavonoid tentatively identified as a 6,8-di-C-pentosylapigenin. The observation that 3',4'-dihydroxyflavonoids were absent in the cc genotype and that 4'-hydroxyflavonoids were present in both genotypes indicated that the C/c alleles controlled the 3'-hydroxylation of flavonoids. The C/c alleles did not, however, control 3'-hydroxylation of cinnamic acids since caffeic acid was detected in both genotypes.