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Open AccessArticle

In Silico Identification of MYB and bHLH Families Reveals Candidate Transcription Factors for Secondary Metabolic Pathways in Cannabis sativa L.

1
CREA-Research Centre for Cereal and Industrial Crops, 40128 Bologna, Italy
2
Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry, University of Florence, 50144 Firenze, Italy
3
Department of Life Sciences, Centre BIOGEST-SITEIA, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 42122 Reggio Emilia, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(11), 1540; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111540
Received: 15 October 2020 / Revised: 6 November 2020 / Accepted: 8 November 2020 / Published: 11 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Functional Genomics in Cannabis sativa, L.)
Plant secondary metabolic pathways are finely regulated by the activity of transcription factors, among which members of the bHLH and MYB subfamilies play a main role. Cannabis sativa L. is a unique officinal plant species with over 600 synthesized phytochemicals having diverse scale-up industrial and pharmaceutical usage. Despite comprehensive knowledge of cannabinoids’ metabolic pathways, very little is known about their regulation, while the literature on flavonoids’ metabolic pathways is still scarce. In this study, we provide the first genome-wide analysis of bHLH and MYB families in C. sativa reference cultivar CBDRx and identification of candidate coding sequences for these transcription factors. Cannabis sativa bHLHs and MYBs were then classified into functional subfamilies through comparative phylogenetic analysis with A. thaliana transcription factors. Analyses of gene structure and motif distribution confirmed that CsbHLHs and CsMYBs belonging to the same evolutionary clade share common features at both gene and amino acidic level. Candidate regulatory genes for key metabolic pathways leading to flavonoid and cannabinoid synthesis in Cannabis were also retrieved. Furthermore, a candidate gene approach was used to identify structural enzyme-coding genes for flavonoid and cannabinoid synthesis. Taken as a whole, this work represents a valuable resource of candidate genes for further investigation of the C. sativa cannabinoid and flavonoid metabolic pathways for genomic studies and breeding programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cannabis sativa; genome-wide analysis; MYBs; bHLH; flavonoids Cannabis sativa; genome-wide analysis; MYBs; bHLH; flavonoids
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bassolino, L.; Buti, M.; Fulvio, F.; Pennesi, A.; Mandolino, G.; Milc, J.; Francia, E.; Paris, R. In Silico Identification of MYB and bHLH Families Reveals Candidate Transcription Factors for Secondary Metabolic Pathways in Cannabis sativa L. Plants 2020, 9, 1540. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111540

AMA Style

Bassolino L, Buti M, Fulvio F, Pennesi A, Mandolino G, Milc J, Francia E, Paris R. In Silico Identification of MYB and bHLH Families Reveals Candidate Transcription Factors for Secondary Metabolic Pathways in Cannabis sativa L. Plants. 2020; 9(11):1540. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111540

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bassolino, Laura; Buti, Matteo; Fulvio, Flavia; Pennesi, Alessandro; Mandolino, Giuseppe; Milc, Justyna; Francia, Enrico; Paris, Roberta. 2020. "In Silico Identification of MYB and bHLH Families Reveals Candidate Transcription Factors for Secondary Metabolic Pathways in Cannabis sativa L." Plants 9, no. 11: 1540. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111540

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