Abstract In light of the fact that the main betaxanthin (miraxanthin V) and the major betacyanin (2-descarboxy-betanidin) in hairy root cultures of yellow beet ( Beta vulgaris L.) are both dopamine-derived, the occurrence of similar structures for the minor betacyanins was also suggested. By HPLC comparison with the betacyanins obtained by dopamine administration to beet seedlings, enzymatic hydrolysis, LCMS and 1H NMR analyses, the minor betacyanins from hairy roots were identified as 2-descarboxy-betanin and its 6′- O-malonyl derivative. A short-term dopamine administration experiment with fodder beet seedlings revealed that the condensation step between 2-descarboxy- cyclo-Dopa and betalamic acid is the decisive reaction, followed by glucosylation and acylation. From these data a pathway for the biosynthesis of dopamine-derived betalains is proposed. Furthermore, the occurrence of these compounds in various cell and hairy root cultures as well as beet plants (Fodder and Garden Beet Group) is shown.