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RcMYBPA2 of Rosa chinensis functions in proanthocyanidin biosynthesis and enhances abiotic stress tolerance in transgenic tobacco

Abstract

Proanthocyanidins (PAs) are major antioxidant flavonoids that play a key role in protecting plants against adverse environmental stress, but the transcriptional regulation of PAs synthesis in rose has not been fully investigated. Here, we report the functional characterization of RcMYBPA2 from rose (Rosa chinensis). RcMYBPA2 expression was induced by wounding, methyl viologen and salicylic acid. Overexpression of RcMYBPA2 in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) led to increased PAs concentrations, as well as enhanced tolerance to oxidative stress in comparison with the wild type (WT). Of special note, the transgenic plants exhibited lower levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) than the WT, accompanied by higher levels of antioxidant enzyme activity under oxidative conditions. The ROS scavenging ability of the transgenic plants was compromised by inhibitors of antioxidant enzymes. In addition, a range of several stress-responsive genes was also up-regulated in the transgenic tobacco under oxidative stresses. Taken together, it is demonstrated that RcMYBPA2 is a positive regulator of the PAs biosynthetic pathway and participates in oxidative tolerance partly via modulating ROS scavenging ability and stress-responsive genes expression.

Key message

Overexpression of RcMYBPA2 in tobacco led to increased PA content, as well as enhanced tolerance to oxidative stress via scavenging ROS and modulating expression of stress-responsive genes.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31800598), the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (Grant Nos. LQ18C150001, LY17C150004) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Zhejiang A & F University (Grant No. 2016FR033). We thank all the colleagues in our lab for constructive discussion and technical support.

Funding

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Author information

CYY and LP conceived and designed the overall experiment. LZY and CW performed the most of the experiments and data analysis. ZC, DCX and SGY participated in tobacco transformation and physiological determination; LP, LZY and CW wrote the manuscript; CYY check the manuscript.

Correspondence to Yongyi Cui or Ping Luo.

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Li, Z., Chen, W., Zhang, C. et al. RcMYBPA2 of Rosa chinensis functions in proanthocyanidin biosynthesis and enhances abiotic stress tolerance in transgenic tobacco. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 137, 441–454 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11240-019-01580-z

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Keywords

  • Rose
  • RcMYBPA2
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Oxidative tolerance
  • Transgenic tobacco