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Article|01 Jul 2020|OPEN
Regulation of phenylpropanoid biosynthesis by MdMYB88 and MdMYB124 contributes to pathogen and drought resistance in apple
Dali Geng1, Xiaoxia Shen1, Yinpeng Xie1, Yusen Yang1, Ruiling Bian2, Yuqi Gao2, Pengmin Li1, Liying Sun2, Hao Feng2, Fengwang Ma1 & Qingmei Guan1,
1State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas/Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Apple, College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
2State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas, College of Plant Protection, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China

Horticulture Research 7,
Article number: 102 (2020)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2020.102
Views: 441

Received: 06 Jan 2020
Revised: 16 Apr 2020
Accepted: 20 Apr 2020
Published online: 01 Jul 2020


MdMYB88 and MdMYB124 have been demonstrated to be responsible for lignin accumulation in apple under drought stress. In this study, using a metabolomic approach, we identified differentially accumulated phenylpropanoid and flavonoid metabolites in MdMYB88/124 transgenic RNAi plants under control and long-term drought stress conditions in apple roots. We confirmed the regulation of phenylalanine by MdMYB88 and MdMYB124 via UPLC-MS in apple roots under both control and drought conditions. Using Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay (EMSA) and ChIP-quantitative PCR (qPCR) analyses, we found that MdMYB88 positively regulates the MdCM2 gene, which is responsible for phenylalanine biosynthesis, through binding to its promoter region. Under long-term drought conditions, MdMYB88/124 RNAi plants consistently accumulated increased amounts of H2O2 and MDA, while MdMYB88 and MdMYB124 overexpression plants accumulated decreased amounts of H2O2 and MDA. We also examined the accumulation of metabolites in the phenylpropanoid biosynthesis pathway in the leaves of MdMYB88 and MdMYB124 transgenic apple plants after long-term drought stress. We found that metabolites responsible for plant defense, including phenylpropanoids and flavonoids, accumulated less in the RNAi plants but more in the overexpression plants under both control and drought conditions. We further demonstrated that MdMYB88/124 RNAi plants were more sensitive to Alternaria alternata f. sp. mali and Valsa mali, two pathogens that currently severely threaten apple production. In contrast, MdMYB88 and MdMYB124 overexpression plants were more tolerant to these pathogens. The cumulative results of this study provided evidence for secondary metabolite regulation by MdMYB88 and MdMYB124, further explained the molecular roles of MdMYB88 and MdMYB124 in drought resistance, and provided information concerning molecular aspects of their roles in disease resistance.