Functional Identification of Apple MdGLK1 Which Regulates Chlorophyll Biosynthesis in Arabidopsis

  • Xiu-Hong An
  • Yi Tian
  • Yan-Hui Chen
  • En-Mao Li
  • Min Li
  • Cun-Gang ChengEmail author


Apple is one of the most prominent fleshy fruits in the world, and photosynthesis is the main factor that influences the intrinsic quality of the fruit. Chlorophyll is an important pigment in photosynthesis and is highly abundant in apple leaves. Although there are many studies on chlorophyll metabolism in apples, most studies have focused on cultivation management, and related molecular regulation research is weak. In this study, we characterized a GOLDEN2-like transcription factor, MdGLK1, in detail. MdGLK1 was expressed mainly in leaves according to gene expression assay and GUS-staining analysis. The MdGLK1 protein was located in the nucleus and exhibited strong transactivation activity. A yeast two-hybrid assay revealed that MdGLK1 formed a homodimer, and the GCT box domain was responsible for dimerization. Overexpression of MdGLK1 restored the chloroplast-defective phenotype of the glk1glk2 mutant and promoted the transcript levels of chlorophyll biosynthesis and photosynthesis-related genes. Together, these results suggest that MdGLK1 positively regulates chlorophyll biosynthesis and may be a candidate gene for improved intrinsic qualities of apple fruit.


Apple Chlorophyll GLK Transgenic Arabidopsis 



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31672116), National key research and development plan and the Program of Developing the Modern Agricultural Industry Technology System (Apple) (CARS-28). The authors would like to thank Dr. Dong Liu of Jiangxi Agricultural University for the glk1glk2 mutant and thank Comprehensive Laboratory of Pomology Biology, Institute of Pomology, CAAS, for providing equipment and technical support. We declare that we do not have any commercial or associative interest that represents a conflict of interest in connection with the work submitted.

Author Contributions

XHA conducted experiments and wrote the manuscript. YT and YHC conceived and designed research. EML and ML analysed data. CGC revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Supplementary material

344_2018_9889_MOESM1_ESM.doc (56 kb)
Supplemental Table S1. Primers used in this study (DOC 56 KB)
344_2018_9889_MOESM2_ESM.doc (34 kb)
Supplemental Text S1. The sequences of GLK genes used in Fig.1 (DOC 34 KB)
344_2018_9889_MOESM3_ESM.doc (20 kb)
Supplemental Text S2. Promoter sequence of MdGLK1 (DOC 20 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiu-Hong An
    • 1
  • Yi Tian
    • 1
  • Yan-Hui Chen
    • 1
  • En-Mao Li
    • 1
  • Min Li
    • 1
  • Cun-Gang Cheng
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mineral Nutrition and Efficient Fertilization for Deciduous Fruits, Key Laboratory of Fruit Germplasm Resources Utilization, Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of PomologyCAASXingchengPeople’s Republic of China

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