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Article|02 May 2020|OPEN
MdMYB6 regulates anthocyanin formation in apple both through direct inhibition of the biosynthesis pathway and through substrate removal
Haifeng Xu1,2, Qi Zou1,2, Guanxian Yang1,2, Shenghui Jiang1,2, Hongcheng Fang1,2, Yicheng Wang1,2, Jing Zhang1,2, Zongying Zhang1,2, Nan Wang1,2, & Xuesen Chen1,2,
1College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, 61 Daizong Road, Tai’an 271018, China
2State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, Shandong Agricultural University, 61 Daizong Road, Tai’an 271018, China

Horticulture Research 7,
Article number: 20072 (2020)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2020.72
Views: 283

Received: 17 Nov 2019
Revised: 03 Mar 2020
Accepted: 19 Mar 2020
Published online: 02 May 2020

Abstract

Anthocyanin biosynthesis and sugar metabolism are important processes during plant growth, but the molecular interactions underlying these pathways are still unclear. In this work, we analyzed the anthocyanin and soluble sugar contents, as well as the transcript levels of transcription factors that are known to be related to the biosynthesis of anthocyanin in ‘Hongcui 1’ apple flesh during fruit development. Overexpression of MdMYB6 in red-fleshed calli was found to reduce anthocyanin content and result in downregulated expression of the MdANS and MdGSTF12 proteins. Yeast one-hybrid and electrophoretic mobility shift analyses showed that MdMYB6 could directly bind to the promoters of MdANS and MdGSTF12, indicating that MdMYB6 could inhibit anthocyanin biosynthesis by regulating MdANS and MdGSTF12. Overexpression of MdTMT1 in the Arabidopsis tmt1 mutant restored the glucose and fructose contents to the wild-type levels, while overexpression of MdTMT1 in red-fleshed calli increased the contents of glucose and fructose but reduced the contents of UDP-glucose, UDP-galactose, and anthocyanin. Using a GUS reporter system, yeast one-hybrid, chromatin immunoprecipitation-PCR and electrophoretic mobility shift analyses, we found that MdMYB6 could bind to the promoter of MdTMT1, resulting in increased promoter activity. Overexpression of MdMYB6 in calli overexpressing MdTMT1 increased the expression of MdTMT1, which led to reduced contents of UDP-glucose and UDP-galactose and decreased anthocyanin content compared to those of the calli that overexpressed MdTMT1. This finding suggested that MdMYB6 could also inhibit anthocyanin biosynthesis by regulating MdTMT1 to decrease the contents of UDP-glucose and UDP-galactose. Taken together, these results showed that MdMYB6 and MdTMT1 play key roles in both anthocyanin biosynthesis and sugar transport.