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Article|20 Feb 2022|OPEN
CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis of VvbZIP36 promotes anthocyanin accumulation in grapevine (Vitis vinifera
Mingxing Tu1,2 , Jinghao Fang2,3 , Ruikang Zhao1 , Xingyu Liu1 , Wuchen Yin2,3 and Ya Wang2,3 , Xianhang Wang1 , , Xiping Wang2,3 , Yulin Fang,1 ,
1College of Enology, College of Food Science and Engineering, Viti-viniculture Engineering Technology Center of State Forestry and Grassland Administration, Shaanxi Engineering Research Center for Viti-Viniculture, Heyang Viti-Viniculture Station, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
2State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology in Arid Areas, College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
3Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Biology and Germplasm Innovation in Northwest China, Ministry of Agriculture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,

Horticulture Research 9,
Article number: uhac022 (2022)
Views: 363

Received: 15 Nov 2021
Accepted: 24 Jan 2022
Published online: 20 Feb 2022


Anthocyanins are plant secondary metabolites that have a variety of biological functions, including pigmentation. The accumulation of anthocyanins is regulated by both transcriptional activators and repressors. Studies have shown that bZIP family members act primarily as positive regulators of anthocyanin biosynthesis, but there are few reports of negative regulation. Here, we report that a grapevine (Vitis vinifera) bZIP gene from group K, VvbZIP36, acts as a negative regulator of anthocyanin biosynthesis. Knocking out one allele of VvbZIP36 in grapevine with CRISPR/Cas9 promoted anthocyanin accumulation. Correlation analysis of transcriptome and metabolome data showed that a range of anthocyanin biosynthesis genes were activated in VvbZIP36 mutant plants relative to the wild type, resulting in the accumulation of related metabolites, including naringenin chalcone, naringenin, dihydroflavonols, and cyanidin-3-O-glucoside. The synthesis of stilbenes (α-viniferin), lignans, and some flavonols (including quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside, kaempferol-3-O-rhamnoside, and kaempferol-7-O-rhamnoside) was significantly inhibited, and several genes linked to their metabolism were downregulated in the mutant plants. In summary, our results demonstrate that VvbZIP36 is a negative regulator of anthocyanin biosynthesis that plays a role in balancing the synthesis of stilbenes (α-viniferin), lignans, flavonols, and anthocyanins.