An apple MYB transcription factor, MdMYB3, is involved in regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis and flower development.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Red coloration of fruit is an important trait in apple, and it is mainly attributed to the accumulation of anthocyanins, a class of plant flavonoid metabolites. Anthocyanin biosynthesis is genetically determined by structural and regulatory genes. Plant tissue pigmentation patterns are mainly controlled by expression profiles of regulatory genes. Among these regulatory genes are MYB transcription factors (TFs), wherein the class of two-repeats (R2R3) is deemed the largest, and these are associated with the anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway. Although three MdMYB genes, almost identical in nucleotide sequences, have been identified in apple, it is likely that there are other R2R3 MYB TFs that are present in the apple genome that are also involved in the regulation of coloration of red color pigmentation of the skin of apple fruits. RESULTS: In this study, a novel R2R3 MYB gene has been isolated and characterized in apple. This MYB gene is closely related to the Arabidopsis thaliana AtMYB3, and has been designated as MdMYB3. This TF belongs to the subgroup 4 R2R3 family of plant MYB transcription factors. This apple MdMYB3 gene is mapped onto linkage group 15 of the integrated apple genetic map. Transcripts of MdMYB3 are detected in all analyzed tissues including leaves, flowers, and fruits. However, transcripts of MdMYB3 are higher in excocarp of red-skinned apple cultivars than that in yellowish-green skinned apple cultivars. When this gene is ectopically expressed in Nicotiana tabacum cv. Petite Havana SR1, flowers of transgenic tobacco lines carrying MdMYB3 have exhibited increased pigmentation and accumulate higher levels of anthocyanins and flavonols than wild-type flowers. Overexpression of MdMYB3 has resulted in transcriptional activation of several flavonoid pathway genes, including CHS, CHI, UFGT, and FLS. Moreover, peduncles of flowers and styles of pistils of transgenic plants overexpressing MdMYB3 are longer than those of wild-type plants, thus suggesting that this TF is involved in regulation of flower development. CONCLUSIONS: This study has identified a novel MYB transcription factor in the apple genome. This TF, designated as MdMYB3, is involved in transcriptional activation of several flavonoid pathway genes. Moreover, this TF not only regulates the accumulation of anthocyanin in the skin of apple fruits, but it is also involved in the regulation of flower development, particularly that of pistil development.
Project description:Herba epimedii (Epimedium), a traditional Chinese medicine, has been widely used as a kidney tonic and antirheumatic medicine for thousands of years. The bioactive components in herba epimedii are mainly prenylated flavonol glycosides, end-products of the flavonoid pathway. Epimedium species are also used as garden plants due to the colorful flowers and leaves. Many R2R3-MYB transcription factors (TFs) have been identified to regulate the flavonoid and anthocyanin biosynthetic pathways. However, little is known about the R2R3-MYB TFs involved in regulation of the flavonoid pathway in Epimedium. Here, we reported the isolation and functional characterization of the first R2R3-MYB TF (EsMYBA1) from Epimedium sagittatum (Sieb. Et Zucc.) Maxim. Conserved domains and phylogenetic analysis showed that EsMYBA1 belonged to the subgroup 6 clade (anthocyanin-related MYB clade) of R2R3-MYB family, which includes Arabidopsis AtPAP1, apple MdMYB10 and legume MtLAP1. EsMYBA1 was preferentially expressed in leaves, especially in red leaves that contain higher content of anthocyanin. Alternative splicing of EsMYBA1 resulted in three transcripts and two of them encoded a MYB-related protein. Yeast two-hybrid and transient luciferase expression assay showed that EsMYBA1 can interact with several bHLH regulators of the flavonoid pathway and activate the promoters of dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) and anthocyanidin synthase (ANS). In both transgenic tobacco and Arabidopsis, overexpression of EsMYBA1 induced strong anthocyanin accumulation in reproductive and/or vegetative tissues via up-regulation of the main flavonoid-related genes. Furthermore, transient expression of EsMYBA1 in E. sagittatum leaves by Agrobacterium infiltration also induced anthocyanin accumulation in the wounded area. This first functional characterization of R2R3-MYB TFs in Epimedium species will promote further studies of the flavonoid biosynthesis and regulation in medicinal plants.
Project description:Epimedium species have been widely used both as traditional Chinese medicinal plants and ornamental perennials. Both flavonols, acting as the major bioactive components (BCs) and anthocyanins, predominantly contributing to the color diversity of Epimedium flowers belong to different classes of flavonoids. It is well-acknowledged that flavonoid biosynthetic pathway is predominantly regulated by R2R3-MYB transcription factor (TF) as well as bHLH TF and WD40 protein at the transcriptional level. MYB TFs specifically regulating anthocyanin or flavonol biosynthetic pathway have been already isolated and functionally characterized from Epimedium sagittatum, but a R2R3-MYB TF involved in regulating both these two pathways has not been functionally characterized to date in Epimedium plants. In this study, we report the functional characterization of EsMYB9, a R2R3-MYB TF previously isolated from E. sagittatum. The previous study indicated that EsMYB9 belongs to a small subfamily of R2R3-MYB TFs containing grape VvMYB5a and VvMYB5b TFs, which regulate flavonoid biosynthetic pathway. The present studies show that overexpression of EsMYB9 in tobacco leads to increased transcript levels of flavonoid pathway genes and increased contents of anthocyanins and flavonols. Yeast two-hybrid assay indicates that the C-terminal region of EsMYB9 contributes to the autoactivation activity, and EsMYB9 interacts with EsTT8 or AtTT8 bHLH regulator. Transient reporter assay shows that EsMYB9 slightly activates the expression of EsCHS (chalcone synthase) promoter in transiently transformed leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana, but the addition of AtTT8 or EsTT8 bHLH regulator strongly enhances the transcriptional activation of EsMYB9 against five promoters of the flavonoid pathway genes except EsFLS (flavonol synthase). In addition, co-transformation of EsMYB9 and EsTT8 in transiently transfected tobacco leaves strongly induces the expressions of flavonoid biosynthetic genes. The potential role of EsMYB9 in modulating the biosynthesis and accumulation of sucrose-induced anthocyanin and flavonol-derived BCs is also discussed. These findings suggest that EsMYB9 is a novel R2R3-MYB TF, which regulates the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway in Epimedium, but distinctly different with the anthocyanin or flavonol-specific MYB regulators identified previously in Epimedium plants.
Project description:The groups of plant flavonoid metabolites termed anthocyanins and proanthocyanins (PA) are responsible for pigmentation in seeds, flowers and fruits. Anthocyanins and PAs are produced by a pathway of enzymes which are transcriptionally regulated by transcription factors (TFs) that form the MYB-bHLH-WD40 (MBW) complex. In this study, transcriptomic analysis of purple-pigmented kiwifruit skin and flesh tissues identified MYBC1, from subgroup 5 of the R2R3 MYB family, and WRKY44 (highly similar to Arabidopsis TTG2) as candidate activators of the anthocyanin pathway. Transient over-expression of MYBC1 and WRKY44 induced anthocyanin accumulation in tobacco leaves. Dual luciferase promoter activation assays revealed that both MYBC1 and WRKY44 were able to strongly activate the promoters of the kiwifruit F3'H and F3'5'H genes. These enzymes are branch points of the pathway which specifies the type of anthocyanin accumulated. Stable over-expression of MYBC1 and WRKY44 in kiwifruit calli activated the expression of F3'5'H and PA-related biosynthetic genes as well as increasing levels of PAs. These results suggest that while previously characterised anthocyanin activator MYBs regulate the overall anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway, the PA-related TFs, MYBC1 and WRKY44, more specifically regulate key branch points. This adds a layer of regulatory control that potentially balances anthocyanin and PA levels.
Project description:R2R3-MYB transcription factors play important roles in the regulation of plant flavonoid metabolites. In the current study, NtMYB3, a novel R2R3-MYB transcriptional factor isolated from Chinese narcissus (Narcissus tazetta L. var. chinensis), was functionally characterized. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that NtMYB3 belongs to the AtMYB4-like clade, which includes repressor MYBs involved in the regulation of flavonoid biosynthesis. Transient assays showed that NtMYB3 significantly reduced red pigmentation induced by the potato anthocyanin activator StMYB-AN1 in agro-infiltrated leaves of tobacco. Over-expression of NtMYB3 decreased the red color of transgenic tobacco flowers, with qRT-PCR analysis showing that NtMYB3 repressed the expression levels of genes involved in anthocyanin and flavonol biosynthesis. However, the proanthocyanin content in flowers of transgenic tobacco increased as compared to wild type. NtMYB3 showed expression in all examined narcissus tissues; the expression level in basal plates of the bulb was highest. A 968 bp promoter fragment of narcissus FLS (NtFLS) was cloned, and transient expression and dual luciferase assays showed NtMYB3 repressed the promoter activity. These results reveal that NtMYB3 is involved in the regulation of flavonoid biosynthesis in narcissus by repressing the biosynthesis of flavonols, and this leads to proanthocyanin accumulation in the basal plate of narcissus.
Project description:The generation of chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum × morifolium) flower color is mainly attributed to the accumulation of anthocyanins. In the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway in chrysanthemum, although all of the structural genes have been cloned, the regulatory function of R2R3-MYB transcription factor (TF) genes, which play a crucial role in determining anthocyanin accumulation in many ornamental crops, still remains unclear. In our previous study, four light-induced R2R3-MYB TF genes in chrysanthemum were identified using transcriptomic sequencing. In the present study, we further investigated the regulatory functions of these genes via phylogenetic and alignment analyses of amino acid sequences, which were subsequently verified by phenotypic, pigmental, and structural gene expression analyses in transgenic tobacco lines. As revealed by phylogenetic and alignment analyses, CmMYB4 and CmMYB5 were phenylpropanoid and flavonoid repressor R2R3-MYB genes, respectively, while CmMYB6 was an activator of anthocyanin biosynthesis, and CmMYB7 was involved in regulating flavonol biosynthesis. Compared with wild-type plants, the relative anthocyanin contents in the 35S:CmMYB4 and 35S:CmMYB5 tobacco lines significantly decreased (p < 0.05), while for 35S:CmMYB6 and 35S:CmMYB7, the opposite result was obtained. Both in the 35S:CmMYB4 and 35S:CmMYB5 lines, the relative expression of several anthocyanin biosynthetic genes in tobacco was significantly downregulated (p < 0.05); on the contrary, several genes were upregulated in the 35S:CmMYB6 and 35S:CmMYB7 lines. These results indicate that CmMYB4 and CmMYB5 negatively regulate anthocyanin biosynthesis in chrysanthemum, while CmMYB6 and CmMYB7 play a positive role, which will aid in understanding the complex mechanism regulating floral pigmentation in chrysanthemum and the functional divergence of the R2R3-MYB gene family in higher plants.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The primary pigments in flowers are anthocyanins, the biosynthesis of which is mainly regulated by R2R3-MYBs. Muscari armeniacum is an ornamental garden plant with deep cobalt blue flowers containing delphinidin-based anthocyanins. An anthocyanin-related R2R3-MYB MaAN2 has previously been identified in M. armeniacum flowers; here, we also characterized a novel R2R3-MYB MaMybA, to determine its function and highlight similarities and differences between MaMybA and MaAN2. RESULTS:In this study, a novel anthocyanin-related R2R3-MYB gene was isolated from M. armeniacum flowers and functionally identified. A sequence alignment showed that MaMybA contained motifs typically conserved with MaAN2 and its orthologs. However, the shared identity of the entire amino acid sequence between MaMybA and MaAN2 was 43.5%. Phylogenetic analysis showed that they were both clustered into the AN2 subgroup of the R2R3-MYB family, but not in the same branch. We also identified a IIIf bHLH protein, MabHLH1, in M. armeniacum flowers. A bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay showed that MabHLH1 interacted with MaMybA or MaAN2 in vivo; a dual luciferase assay indicated that MaMybA alone or in interaction with MabHLH1 could regulate the expression of MaDFR and AtDFR, but MaAN2 required MabHLH1 to do so. When overexpressing MaMybA in Nicotiana tabacum 'NC89', the leaves, petals, anthers, and calyx of transgenic tobacco showed intense and magenta anthocyanin pigments, whereas those of OE-MaAN2 plants had lighter pigmentation. However, the ovary wall and seed skin of OE-MaMybA tobacco were barely pigmented, while those of OE-MaAN2 tobacco were reddish-purple. Moreover, overexpressing MaMybA in tobacco obviously improved anthocyanin pigmentation, compared to the OE-MaAN2 and control plants, by largely upregulating anthocyanin biosynthetic and endogenous bHLH genes. Notably, the increased transcription of NtF3'5'H in OE-MaMybA tobacco might lead to additional accumulation of delphinidin 3-rutinoside, which was barely detected in OE-MaAN2 and control plants. We concluded that the high concentration of anthocyanin and the newly produced Dp3R caused the darker color of OE-MaMybA compared to OE-MaAN2 tobacco. CONCLUSION:The newly identified R2R3-MYB transcription factor MaMybA functions in anthocyanin biosynthesis, but has some differences from MaAN2; MaMybA could also be useful in modifying flower color in ornamental plants.
Project description:Anthocyanins are a group of secondary metabolites that colour fruit and flowers orange, red, purple or blue depending on a number of factors, such as the basic structure, co-pigmentation, metal ion complexation and vacuolar pH. The biosynthesis of anthocyanin is regulated at the transcriptional level by a group of transcription factors, the MYB-bHLH-WD40 (MBW) complex. In this study, the purple colouration in several kiwifruit (Actinidia) species was identified and characterised as red cyanidin-based and blue delphinidin-based anthocyanins. The differential pigmentation in the skin and flesh can be attributed to the differential ratio of cyanidin and delphinidin derivatives accumulated in the total anthocyanin profile. The expression of anthocyanin biosynthetic genes chalcone synthase (CHS), flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase (F3GT), flavonoid 3'-hydroxylase (F3'H) and flavonoid 3'5'-hydroxylase (F3'5'H) is crucial for anthocyanin accumulation. However, the balance of expression of the F3'H and F3'5'H genes appears responsible for the ratio of cyanidin and delphinidin derivatives, while a lack of CHS, F3GT and MYB110 expression is responsible for a lack of total anthocyanins. The transcriptional regulation of the F3'H and F3'5'H promoters by the R2R3 MYB transcription factor MYB110 is markedly different in tobacco transient assays. When kiwifruit MYB10 or MYB110 are over-expressed in Actinidia chinensis both cyanidin-based and delphinidin-based anthocyanins are elevated, but F3'H and F3'5'H genes are not strongly correlated with MYB expression. These results suggest that the core kiwifruit anthocyanin pathway genes are dependent on characterised MYB transcription factors, while other regulatory proteins are more directly responsible for the expression of the F3'H and F3'5'H genes.
Project description:Bulb color is an important consumer trait for onion (Allium cepa L., Allioideae, Asparagales). The bulbs accumulate a range of flavonoid compounds, including anthocyanins (red), flavonols (pale yellow), and chalcones (bright yellow). Flavonoid regulation is poorly characterized in onion and in other plants belonging to the Asparagales, despite being a major plant order containing many important crop and ornamental species. R2R3-MYB transcription factors associated with the regulation of distinct branches of the flavonoid pathway were isolated from onion. These belonged to sub-groups (SGs) that commonly activate anthocyanin (SG6, MYB1) or flavonol (SG7, MYB29) production, or repress phenylpropanoid/flavonoid synthesis (SG4, MYB4, MYB5). MYB1 was demonstrated to be a positive regulator of anthocyanin biosynthesis by the induction of anthocyanin production in onion tissue when transiently overexpressed and by reduction of pigmentation when transiently repressed via RNAi. Furthermore, ectopic red pigmentation was observed in garlic (Allium sativum L.) plants stably transformed with a construct for co-overexpression of MYB1 and a bHLH partner. MYB1 also was able to complement the acyanic petal phenotype of a defined R2R3-MYB anthocyanin mutant in Antirrhinum majus of the asterid clade of eudicots. The availability of sequence information for flavonoid-related MYBs from onion enabled phylogenetic groupings to be determined across monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous species, including the identification of characteristic amino acid motifs. This analysis suggests that divergent evolution of the R2R3-MYB family has occurred between Poaceae/Orchidaceae and Allioideae species. The DNA sequences identified will be valuable for future analysis of classical flavonoid genetic loci in Allium crops and will assist the breeding of these important crop species.
Project description:R2R3 MYB transcription factors play key functions in the regulation of secondary metabolites. In the present study, a R2R3 MYB transcriptional factor NtMYB2 was identified from Chinese narcissus (Narcissus tazetta L. var. Chinensis Roem) and functionally characterized. NtMYB2 belongs to subgroup 4 of the R2R3 MYB transcription factor family that are related to repressor MYBs involved in the regulation of anthocyanin and flavonoids. Transient expression confirmed that NtMYB2 strongly reduced the red pigmentation induced by MYB- anthocyanin activators in agro-infiltrated tobacco leaves. Ectopic expression of NtMYB2 in tobacco significantly reduced the pigmentation and altered the floral phenotypes in transgenic tobacco flowers. Gene expression analysis suggested that NtMYB2 repressed the transcript levels of structural genes involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway, especially the UFGT gene. NtMYB2 gene is expressed in all examined narcissus tissues; the levels of transcription in petals and corona is higher than other tissues and the transcription level at the bud stage was highest. These results show that NtMYB2 is involved in the regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway and may act as a repressor by down regulating the transcripts of key enzyme genes in Chinese narcissus.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The control of plant anthocyanin accumulation is via transcriptional regulation of the genes encoding the biosynthetic enzymes. A key activator appears to be an R2R3 MYB transcription factor. In apple fruit, skin anthocyanin levels are controlled by a gene called MYBA or MYB1, while the gene determining fruit flesh and foliage anthocyanin has been termed MYB10. In order to further understand tissue-specific anthocyanin regulation we have isolated orthologous MYB genes from all the commercially important rosaceous species. RESULTS: We use gene specific primers to show that the three MYB activators of apple anthocyanin (MYB10/MYB1/MYBA) are likely alleles of each other. MYB transcription factors, with high sequence identity to the apple gene were isolated from across the rosaceous family (e.g. apples, pears, plums, cherries, peaches, raspberries, rose, strawberry). Key identifying amino acid residues were found in both the DNA-binding and C-terminal domains of these MYBs. The expression of these MYB10 genes correlates with fruit and flower anthocyanin levels. Their function was tested in tobacco and strawberry. In tobacco, these MYBs were shown to induce the anthocyanin pathway when co-expressed with bHLHs, while over-expression of strawberry and apple genes in the crop of origin elevates anthocyanins. CONCLUSIONS: This family-wide study of rosaceous R2R3 MYBs provides insight into the evolution of this plant trait. It has implications for the development of new coloured fruit and flowers, as well as aiding the understanding of temporal-spatial colour change.