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Article|22 Apr 2022|OPEN
LcERF19, an AP2/ERF transcription factor from Litsea cubeba, positively regulates geranial and neral biosynthesis
Minyan Wang1,2 , Ming Gao1,2 , Yunxiao Zhao1,2 , Yicun Chen1,2 , Liwen Wu1,2 , Hengfu Yin1,2 and Jiahui Yang1,2 , Shifa Xiong1,2 , Siqi Wang1,2 , Jue Wang1,2 , Yang Yang1,2 , Jia Wang1,2 , Yangdong Wang,1,2 ,
1State Key Laboratory of Tree Genetics and Breeding, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, 100091, China
2Research Institute of Subtropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 311400, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

Horticulture Research 9,
Article number: uhac093 (2022)
Views: 112

Received: 31 Dec 2021
Accepted: 05 Apr 2022
Published online: 22 Apr 2022


The APETALA2/ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR (AP2/ERF) transcription factors (TFs) are involved in the regulation of specialized terpenoid biosynthesis. However, the AP2/ERF TFs in Litsea cubeba have not been characterized and their role in the biosynthesis of terpenoids is unknown. Here, 174 LcAP2/ERF TFs were identified in L. cubeba and categorized into four subfamilies: 27 AP2, 7 RAV, 1 Soloist, and 139 ERF. Transcriptomic and qRT-PCR assays both showed that the expression levels of LcERF19 were similar to that of terpene synthase LcTPS42 in the pericarp, which is related to the synthesis of geranial and neral in L. cubebaLcERF19 was further shown to encode a nuclear-localized protein and its expression was strongly induced by jasmonate. Yeast one-hybrid and dual-luciferase assays showed that LcERF19 associated with GCC box elements of the LcTPS42 promoter and promoted its activity. Transient overexpression of LcERF19 in L. cubeba and overexpression of LcERF19 in tomato resulted in a significant increase in geranial and neral. Our findings show that LcERF19 enhances geranial and neral biosynthesis through activation of LcTPS42 expression, which provides a strategy to improve the flavor of tomato and other fruits.