NtMYB12 Positively Regulates Flavonol Biosynthesis and Enhances Tolerance to Low Pi Stress in Nicotiana tabacum.
ABSTRACT: Phosphorus (P) is an essential macronutrient for plant growth and development. The concentration of flavonol, a natural plant antioxidant, is closely related to phosphorus nutritional status. However, the regulatory networks of flavonol biosynthesis under low Pi stress are still unclear. In this study, we identified a PFG-type MYB gene, NtMYB12, whose expression was significantly up-regulated under low Pi conditions. Overexpression of NtMYB12 dramatically increased flavonol concentration and the expression of certain flavonol biosynthetic genes (NtCHS, NtCHI, and NtFLS) in transgenic tobacco. Moreover, overexpression of NtMYB12 also increased the total P concentration and enhanced tobacco tolerance of low Pi stress by increasing the expression of Pht1-family genes (NtPT1 and NtPT2). We further demonstrated that NtCHS-overexpressing plants and NtPT2-overexpressing plants also had increased flavonol and P accumulation and higher tolerance to low Pi stress, showing a similar phenotype to NtMYB12-overexpressing transgenic tobacco under low Pi stress. These results suggested that tobacco NtMYB12 acts as a phosphorus starvation response enhancement factor and regulates NtCHS and NtPT2 expression, which results in increased flavonol and P accumulation and enhances tolerance to low Pi stress.
Project description:Flavonols as plant secondary metabolites with vital roles in plant development and defense against UV light, have been demonstrated to be the main bioactive components (BCs) in the genus Epimedium plants, several species of which are used as materials for Herba Epimedii, an important traditional Chinese medicine. The flavonol biosynthetic pathway genes had been already isolated from Epimedium sagittatum, but a R2R3-MYB transcription factor regulating the flavonol synthesis has not been functionally characterized so far in Epimedium plants. In this study, we isolated and characterized the R2R3-MYB transcription factor EsMYBF1 involved in regulation of the flavonol biosynthetic pathway from E. sagittatum. Sequence analysis indicated that EsMYBF1 belongs to the subgroup 7 of R2R3-MYB family which contains the flavonol-specific MYB regulators identified to date. Transient reporter assay showed that EsMYBF1 strongly activated the promoters of EsF3H (flavanone 3-hydroxylase) and EsFLS (flavonol synthase), but not the promoters of EsDFRs (dihydroflavonol 4-reductase) and EsANS (anthocyanidin synthase) in transiently transformed Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. Both yeast two-hybrid assay and transient reporter assay validated EsMYBF1 to be independent of EsTT8, or AtTT8 bHLH regulators of the flavonoid pathway as cofactors. Ectopic expression of EsMYBF1 in transgenic tobacco resulted in the increased flavonol content and the decreased anthocyanin content in flowers. Correspondingly, the structural genes involved in flavonol synthesis were upregulated in the EsMYBF1 overexpression lines, including NtCHS (chalcone synthase), NtCHI (chalcone isomerase), NtF3H and NtFLS, whereas the late biosynthetic genes of the anthocyanin pathway (NtDFR and NtANS) were remarkably downregulated, compared to the controls. These results suggest that EsMYBF1 is a flavonol-specific R2R3-MYB regulator, and involved in regulation of the biosynthesis of the flavonol-derived BCs in E. sagittatum. Thus, identification and functional characterization of EsMYBF1 provide insight into understanding the biosynthesis and regulation of the flavonol-derived BCs in Epimedium plants, and also provide an effective tool gene for genetic manipulation to improve the flavonol synthesis.
Project description:Flavonols are important copigments that affect flower petal coloration. Flavonol synthase (FLS) catalyzes the conversion of dihydroflavonols to flavonols. In this study, we identified a FLS gene, MaFLS, expressed in petals of the ornamental monocot Muscari aucheri (grape hyacinth) and analyzed its spatial and temporal expression patterns. qRT-PCR analysis showed that MaFLS was predominantly expressed in the early stages of flower development. We next analyzed the in planta functions of MaFLS. Heterologous expression of MaFLS in Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) resulted in a reduction in pigmentation in the petals, substantially inhibiting the expression of endogenous tobacco genes involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis (i.e., NtDFR, NtANS, and NtAN2) and upregulating the expression of NtFLS. The total anthocyanin content in the petals of the transformed tobacco plants was dramatically reduced, whereas the total flavonol content was increased. Our study suggests that MaFLS plays a key role in flavonol biosynthesis and flower coloration in grape hyacinth. Moreover, MaFLS may represent a new potential gene for molecular breeding of flower color modification and provide a basis for analyzing the effects of copigmentation on flower coloration in grape hyacinth.
Project description:The WRKY transcription factor family has 109 members in the rice genome, and has been reported to be involved in the regulation of biotic and abiotic stress in plants. Here, we demonstrated that a rice OsWRKY74 belonging to group III of the WRKY transcription factor family was involved in tolerance to phosphate (Pi) starvation. OsWRKY74 was localized in the nucleus and mainly expressed in roots and leaves. Overexpression of OsWRKY74 significantly enhanced tolerance to Pi starvation, whereas transgenic lines with down-regulation of OsWRKY74 were sensitive to Pi starvation. Root and shoot biomass, and phosphorus (P) concentration in rice OsWRKY74-overexpressing plants were ~16% higher than those of wild-type (WT) plants in Pi-deficient hydroponic solution. In soil pot experiments, >24% increases in tiller number, grain weight and P concentration were observed in rice OsWRKY74-overexpressing plants compared to WT plants when grown in P-deficient medium. Furthermore, Pi starvation-induced changes in root system architecture were more profound in OsWRKY74-overexpressing plants than in WT plants. Expression patterns of a number of Pi-responsive genes were altered in the OsWRKY74-overexpressing and RNA interference lines. In addition, OsWRKY74 may also be involved in the response to deficiencies in iron (Fe) and nitrogen (N) as well as cold stress in rice. In Pi-deficient conditions, OsWRKY74-overexpressing plants exhibited greater accumulation of Fe and up-regulation of the cold-responsive genes than WT plants. These findings highlight the role of OsWRKY74 in modulation of Pi homeostasis and potential crosstalk between P starvation and Fe starvation, and cold stress in rice.
Project description:Salinization, desertification, and soil nutrient deprivation are threatening the production of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in northern China. We have previously generated T0 transgenic alfalfa co-overexpressing Zygophyllum xanthoxylum ZxNHX and ZxVP1-1 genes with enhanced salt and drought tolerance. To further develop this excellent breeding material into the new forage cultivar, stress tolerance, productivity, and forage quality of T1 transgenic alfalfa (GM) were assessed in this study. The GM inherited the traits of salt and drought tolerance from T0 generation. Most importantly, co-overexpression of ZxNHX and ZxVP1-1 enhanced the tolerance to Pi deficiency in GM, which was associated with more Pi accumulation in plants. Meanwhile, T1 transgenic alfalfa developed a larger root system with increased root size, root dry weight and root/shoot ratio, which may be one important reason for the improvement of phosphorus nutrition and high biomass accumulation in GM under various conditions. GM also accumulated more crude protein, crude fiber, crude fat, and crude ash than wild-type (WT) plants, especially under stress conditions and in the field. More interestingly, the crude fat contents sharply dropped in WT (by 66-74%), whereas showed no change or decreased less in GM, when subjected to salinity, drought or low-Pi. Our results indicate that T1 transgenic alfalfa co-overexpressing ZxNHX and ZxVP1-1 shows stronger stress tolerance, higher productivity and better forage quality. This study provides a solid foundation for creating the alfalfa cultivars with high yield, good quality and wide adaptability on saline, dry, and nutrient-deprived marginal lands of northern China.
Project description:Phosphate (Pi) deficiency severely affects crop yield. Modern high yielding rice genotypes are sensitive to Pi deficiency whereas traditional rice cultivars are naturally compatible to low Pi ecosystems. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms for low Pi tolerance in traditional genotypes remain largely elusive. To delineate the molecular mechanisms for low Pi tolerance, two contrasting rice genotypes - Dular (low Pi tolerant) and PB1 (low Pi sensitive) - have been selected. Comparative morphophysiological, global transcriptome and lipidome analyses of root and shoot tissues of both genotypes raised under Pi deficient and sufficient conditions revealed the potential low Pi tolerance mechanisms of traditional genotype. Most of the genes associated with enhanced internal Pi utilization (phospholipid remobilization) and modulation of root system architecture (RSA) are highly induced in traditional rice genotype, Dular. Higher reserve of phospholipid and greater accumulation of galactolipids under low Pi in Dular indicated its better internal Pi utilization. Furthermore, Dular also maintained better root growth than PB1 under low Pi resulting in larger root surface area due to increased lateral root density and root hair length. Genes involved in enhanced low Pi tolerance of traditional genotype can be exploited to improve the low Pi tolerance of modern high yielding rice cultivars. Overall design: 15-days-old Root and shoot tissue of rice seedlings (variety: Dular and PB1) grown under Phosphorus deficient conditions were compared with corresponding Phosphorus sufficient conditions
Project description:Rosea1 (Ros1) and Delila (Del) co-expression controls anthocyanin accumulation in snapdragon flowers, while their overexpression in tomato strongly induces anthocyanin accumulation. However, little data exist on how Del expression alone influences anthocyanin accumulation.In tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum 'Xanthi'), Del expression enhanced leaf and flower anthocyanin production through regulating NtCHS, NtCHI, NtF3H, NtDFR, and NtANS transcript levels. Transgenic lines displayed different anthocyanin colors (e.g., pale red: T0-P, red: T0-R, and strong red: T0-S), resulting from varying levels of biosynthetic gene transcripts. Under salt stress, the T2 generation had higher total polyphenol content, radical (DPPH, ABTS) scavenging activities, antioxidant-related gene expression, as well as overall greater salt and drought tolerance than wild type (WT).We propose that Del overexpression elevates transcript levels of anthocyanin biosynthetic and antioxidant-related genes, leading to enhanced anthocyanin production and antioxidant activity. The resultant increase of anthocyanin and antioxidant activity improves abiotic stress tolerance.
Project description:Flower color is the main character throughout the plant kingdom. Though substantial information exists regarding the structural and regulatory genes involved in anthocyanin and flavonol biosynthesis, little is known that what make a diverse white vs. red color flower in natural species. Here, the contents of pigments in seven species from varied phylogenetic location in plants with red and white flowers were determined. Flavonols could be detected in red and white flowers, but anthocyanins were almost undetectable in the white cultivar. Comparisons of expression patterns of gene related to the flavonoid biosynthesis indicated that disequilibrium expression of flavonol synthase (FLS) and dihydroflavonol-4-reductase (DFR) genes determined the accumulation of flavonols and anothcyanins in both red and white flowers of seven species. To further investigate the role of such common regulatory patterns in determining flower color, FLS genes were isolated from Rosa rugosa (RrFLS1), Prunus persica (PpFLS), and Petunia hybrida (PhFLS), and DFR genes were isolated from Rosa rugosa (RrDFR1) and Petunia hybrida (PhDFR). Heterologous expression of the FLS genes within tobacco host plants demonstrated conservation of function, with the transgenes promoting flavonol biosynthesis and inhibiting anthocyanin accumulation, so resulting in white flowers. Conversely, overexpression of DFR genes in tobacco displayed down-regulation of the endogenous NtFLS gene, and the promotion of anthocyanin synthesis. On this basis, we propose a model in which FLS and DFR gene-products compete for common substrates in order to direct the biosynthesis of flavonols and anthocyanins, respectively, thereby determining white vs. red coloration of flowers.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Phosphorus (P) is an essential macronutrient for plant growth and development. Several genes involved in phosphorus deficiency stress have been identified in various plant species. However, a whole genome understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in plant adaptations to low P remains elusive, and there is particularly little information on the genetic basis of these acclimations in coniferous trees. Masson pine (Pinus massoniana) is grown mainly in the tropical and subtropical regions in China, many of which are severely lacking in inorganic phosphate (Pi). In previous work, we described an elite P. massoniana genotype demonstrating a high tolerance to Pi-deficiency. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To further investigate the mechanism of tolerance to low P, RNA-seq was performed to give an idea of extent of expression from the two mixed libraries, and microarray whose probes were designed based on the unigenes obtained from RNA-seq was used to elucidate the global gene expression profiles for the long-term phosphorus starvation. A total of 70,896 unigenes with lengths ranging from 201 to 20,490 bp were assembled from 112,108,862 high quality reads derived from RNA-Seq libraries. We identified 1,396 and 943 transcripts that were differentially regulated (P<0.05) under P1 (0.01 mM P) and P2 (0.06 mM P) Pi-deficiency conditions, respectively. Numerous transcripts were consistently differentially regulated under Pi deficiency stress, many of which were also up- or down-regulated in other species under the corresponding conditions, and are therefore ideal candidates for monitoring the P status of plants. The results also demonstrated the impact of different Pi starvation levels on global gene expression in Masson pine. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: To our knowledge, this work provides the first insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in acclimation to long-term Pi starvation and different Pi availability levels in coniferous trees.
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:In plants, epigenetic changes have been identified as regulators of developmental events during normal growth as well as environmental stress exposures. Flavonoid biosynthetic and antioxidant pathways play a significant role in plant defence during their exposure to environmental cues. The aim of this study was to unravel whether genes encoding enzymes of flavonoid biosynthetic and antioxidant pathways are under epigenetic regulation, particularly DNA methylation, during salt stress. For this, a repressor of silencing from Arabidopsis, AtROS1, was overexpressed in transgenic tobacco. Generated transgenics were evaluated to examine the influence of AtROS1 on methylation status of promoters as well as on coding regions of genes encoding enzymes of flavonoids biosynthesis and antioxidant pathways. Overexpression of AtROS1 increases the demethylation levels of both promoters as well as coding regions of genes encoding chalcone synthase, chalcone isomerase, flavanone 3-hydroxylase, flavonol synthase, dihydroflavonol 4-reductase, and anthocyanidin synthase of the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway, and glutathione S-transferase, ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione reductase of the antioxidant pathway during control conditions. The level of demethylation was further increased at promoters as well as coding regions of these genes during salt-stress conditions. Transgenic tobacco overexpressing AtROS1 showed tolerance to salt stress that could have been due to the higher expression levels of the genes encoding enzymes of the flavonoid biosynthetic and antioxidant pathways. This is the first comprehensive study documenting the epigenetic regulation of flavonoid biosynthetic and antioxidant pathways during salt-stress exposure of plants.