Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 669–680 | Cite as

Arabidopsis AtPAP1 transcription factor induces anthocyanin production in transgenic Taraxacum brevicorniculatum

  • Jian Qiu
  • Shuquan Sun
  • Shiqiao Luo
  • Jichuan Zhang
  • Xianzhou Xiao
  • Liqun Zhang
  • Feng Wang
  • Shizhong Liu
Original Paper


Key message

This study developed a new purple colouredTaraxacum brevicorniculatumplant through genetic transformation using the Arabidopsis AtPAP1 gene, which overproduced anthocyanins in its vegetative tissues.


Rubber-producing Taraxacum plants synthesise high-quality natural rubber (NR) in their roots and so are a promising alternative global source of this raw material. A major factor in its commercialization is the need for multipurpose exploitation of the whole plant. To add value to the aerial tissues, red/purple plants of the rubber-producing Taraxacum brevicorniculatum species were developed through heterologous expression of the production of anthocyanin pigment 1 (AtPAP1) transcription factor from Arabidopsis thaliana. The vegetative tissue of the transgenic plants showed an average of a 48-fold increase in total anthocyanin content over control levels, but with the exception of pigmentation, the transgenic plants were phenotypically comparable to controls and displayed similar growth vigor. Southern blot analysis confirmed that the AtPAP1 gene had been integrated into the genome of the high anthocyanin Taraxacum plants. The AtPAP1 expression levels were estimated by quantitative real-time PCR and were highly correlated with the levels of total anthocyanins in five independent transgenic lines. High levels of three cyanidin glycosides found in the purple plants were characterized by high performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrum analysis. The presence of NR was verified by NMR and infrared spectroscopy, and confirmed that NR biosynthesis had not been affected in the transgenic Taraxacum lines. In addition, other major phenylpropanoid products such as chlorogenic acid and quercetin glycosides were also enhanced in the transgenic Taraxacum. The red/purple transgenic Taraxacum lines described in this study would increase the future application of the species as a rubber-producing crop due to its additional health benefits.


Anthocyanins Natural rubber Agrobacterium Taraxacum brevicorniculatum AtPAP1 genes HPLC–MS 



Murashige and Skoog medium


High performance liquid chromatography


High performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrum


Nuclear magnetic resonance






Small rubber particle protein


Phenylalanine ammonia lyase


Cinnamate 4-monooxygenase


Coumarate 3-hydroxylase


Chalcone synthase


Chalcone isomerase


Flavanone 3-hydroxylase

CaMV 35S

Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jian Qiu
    • 1
  • Shuquan Sun
    • 3
  • Shiqiao Luo
    • 1
  • Jichuan Zhang
    • 3
  • Xianzhou Xiao
    • 1
  • Liqun Zhang
    • 3
  • Feng Wang
    • 4
  • Shizhong Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Resources of Rubber TreeRubber Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural SciencesDanzhouChina
  2. 2.Zhanjiang Experiment StationChinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural SciencesZhanjiangChina
  3. 3.Center of Advanced Elastomer Materials, College of Materials and EngineeringBeijing University of Chemical and TechnologyBeijingChina
  4. 4.Shandong Linglong Tyre Company LimitedZhaoyuanChina

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