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Article|01 Mar 2019|OPEN
MdGSTF6, activated by MdMYB1, plays an essential role in anthocyanin accumulation in apple
Shenghui Jiang1 , Min Chen1 , Naibo He2 , Xiaoliu Chen1 , Nan Wang1 , Qingguo Sun1 , Tianliang Zhang1 , Haifeng Xu1 , Hongcheng Fang1 , Yicheng Wang1 , Zongying Zhang1 , Shujing Wu1 and Xuesen Chen,1 ,
1College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, Collaborative Innovation Center of Fruit & Vegetable Quality and Efficient Production in Shandong, Shandong Agricultural University, 61 Daizong Road, Tai’an 271018, China
2National Oceanographic Center, 88 Xuzhou Road, Qingdao 266071, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

Horticulture Research 6,
Article number: 40 (2019)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2019.40
Views: 3806

Received: 31 Jul 2018
Revised: 29 Dec 2018
Accepted: 30 Dec 2018
Published online: 01 Mar 2019


Anthocyanins are biosynthesized on the cytosolic surface of the endoplasmic reticulum and then transported into the vacuole for storage. Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are considered to be responsible for the transport of anthocyanins into the vacuole. However, the regulatory mechanisms of GSTs in plants are still unclear. Here, we performed a genome-wide analysis and identified 69 GST genes in apple. The expression of MdGSTF6 was positively correlated with the anthocyanin content (r = 0.949) during ‘Yanfu 8’ fruit development. The overexpression of MdGSTF6 in the Arabidopsis thaliana tt19 mutant resulted in seedlings of 35S::MdGSTF6-GFP/tt19 that could accumulate anthocyanin and rescue its phenotype, suggesting that MdGSTF6 was an anthocyanin transporter. The silencing of MdGSTF6 affected anthocyanin accumulation in apple fruit. Moreover, the knockdown of MdGSTF6 by RNA interference in cultured ‘Gala’ seedlings inhibited anthocyanin accumulation. The interaction experiments showed that MdMYB1 could bind directly to the MdGSTF6 promoter to transcriptionally activate its expression. Collectively, our results demonstrate that MdGSTF6 encodes an important GST transporter of anthocyanins in apple fruit and provide evidence for the associated regulatory mechanisms. Therefore, MdMYB1 can not only regulate anthocyanin synthesis, but also control the transport of anthocyanin in apples. This information may be useful for further clarifying the regulation of anthocyanin transport in apple.