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Open AccessArticle

Anthocyanin Synthesis and the Expression Patterns of bHLH Transcription Factor Family during Development of the Chinese Jujube Fruit (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.)

by Qianqian Shi 1,2, Xi Li 1,2, Jiangtao Du 1,2 and Xingang Li 1,2,3,*
1
College of Forestry, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, Yangling District, Xianyang 712100, China
2
Key Comprehensive Laboratory of Forestry of Shaanxi Province, Northwest A&F University, Yangling District, Xianyang 712100, China
3
Research Center for Jujube Engineering and Technology of State Forestry Administration, Northwest A&F University, Yangling District, Xianyang 712100, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(4), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10040346
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
The basic helix–loop–helix (bHLH) family is an important transcription factor for eukaryotes and is involved in a wide range of biological activities. Among these, bHLH can interaction with WD repeat (WD40 or WDR) and V-myb avian myeloblastosis viral oncogene homolog (MYB) form a ternary complex to promote the efficient synthesis of anthocyanins. In this study, a total of 138 jujube bHLH (ZjbHLH) family members were screened from the transcriptome of the two jujube cultivars, ‘Junzao’ (JZ) and ‘Tailihong’ (TLH). Of these, 95 ZjbHLH genes were mapped to 12 chromosomes. A phylogenetic tree was constructed using 27 arabidopsis bHLH (AtbHLH) protein sequences of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. and 138 ZjbHLH protein sequences of jujube. The results show that the ZjbHLH family of jujube can be divided into 12 subfamilies. The three candidate genes, ZjGL3a, ZjGL3b and ZjTT8, related to anthocyanin synthesis, were classified into subgroup III. Meanwhile, ZjGL3a, ZjGL3b and ZjTT8 have high homology with the bHLH transcription factors involved in anthocyanin synthesis in other plants. In addition, it was found that the jujube ZjbHLH transcript family showed changing patterns of expression during fruit development. The relative expression levels of ZjGL3a, ZjGL3 and ZjTT8 were consistent with the changes of the anthocyanin contents in the two jujube cultivars examined. To better understand the anthocyanin synthesis pathway involved in ZjbHLH, a regulatory pathway model for anthocyanin synthesis was constructed. This model involves the processes of anthocyanin signal transduction, synthesis and transport. View Full-Text
Keywords: ZjbHLH transcription factor; jujube; anthocyanin; anthocyanin synthesis pathway ZjbHLH transcription factor; jujube; anthocyanin; anthocyanin synthesis pathway
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Shi, Q.; Li, X.; Du, J.; Li, X. Anthocyanin Synthesis and the Expression Patterns of bHLH Transcription Factor Family during Development of the Chinese Jujube Fruit (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.). Forests 2019, 10, 346.

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