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Ectopic Expression of Multiple Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum × morifolium) R2R3-MYB Transcription Factor Genes Regulates Anthocyanin Accumulation in Tobacco

by Yan Hong, Mengling Li and Silan Dai *
School of Landscape Architecture, Beijing Forestry University, No. 35 Tsinghua East Road, 100083 Beijing, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Genes 2019, 10(10), 777; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10100777
Received: 30 August 2019 / Revised: 27 September 2019 / Accepted: 30 September 2019 / Published: 4 October 2019
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: Chrysanthemum × morifolium; R2R3-MYB; transcription factor; anthocyanin; biosynthesis Chrysanthemum × morifolium; R2R3-MYB; transcription factor; anthocyanin; biosynthesis
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Hong, Y.; Li, M.; Dai, S. Ectopic Expression of Multiple Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum × morifolium) R2R3-MYB Transcription Factor Genes Regulates Anthocyanin Accumulation in Tobacco. Genes 2019, 10, 777.

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