Anthocyanins are secondary metabolites that are involved in providing flower petal pigmentation. In plants, anthocyanin synthesis is regulated positively by a conserved MYB-bHLH-WD40 (MBW) complex and negatively by repressors. We isolated a repressor of anthocyanin synthesis, MYBx1, from a moth orchid Phalaenopsis cv. Big Chili. MYBx1 encodes a typical R3-MYB protein and exhibited diverse expression patterns in four Phalaenopsis cultivars, Big Chili, Fuller’s Sunset, Sogo Yukidian “V3”, and Sogo Lit-Sunny. A yeast two-hybrid assay analysis indicated that MYBx1 can also participate in the MBW complex by interacting with the transcription factors ANTHOCYANIN (AN) 1 and AN11. Over-expressing MYBx1 in the petunia hybrid M1 × R27 resulted in reduced accumulations of flower petal pigments through the repression of anthocyanin activities. A quantitative real-time PCR analysis of the expression patterns of anthocyanin synthesis-related structural genes in the transgenic petunia flower petals showed that the expression levels of chalcone synthase, flavanone 3-hydroxylase, and dihydroflavonol reductase genes were considerably down-regulated. However, no significant changes in the expression levels of the MBW complex members, AN1, AN2, and AN11, were observed. This study improves our understanding of anthocyanin synthesis-related regulatory networks in plants and also provides an important foundation for the further genetic engineering of ornamental plant flower colors.
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We thank Dr. Francesca M. Quattrocchio in University of Amsterdam for the vector of pK2GW2.0/rfa (Overexpression) and petunia seeds. We thank Dr. Kai He in Lanzhou University for the vectors of pGBKT7/GW and pGADT7/GW (Y2H). We thank Lesley Benyon, PhD, from Liwen Bianji, Edanz Group China (www.liwenbianji.cn/ac), for editing the English text of a draft of this manuscript. The National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. U1504320) and the Financial Project of Henan Province (2019XKYH03, 20188105) to HZ supported this study.
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Fu, Z., Wang, L., Shang, H. et al. An R3-MYB gene of Phalaenopsis, MYBx1, represses anthocyanin accumulation. Plant Growth Regul 88, 129–138 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10725-019-00493-3
- Gene function
- Transcription factor