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Article|15 Nov 2022|OPEN
Interaction of AcMADS68 with transcription factors regulates anthocyanin biosynthesis in red-fleshed kiwifruit 
Yanfei Liu1 ,† , Guowen Lv1 ,† , Yaqi Yang1 , Kangxun Ma1 , Xiaolin Ren1 , Mingjun Li1 , and Zhande Liu,1 ,
1College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, 712100, Shannxi, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,
Both authors contributed equally to the study.

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhac252 (2023)
Views: 313

Received: 28 May 2022
Accepted: 07 Nov 2022
Published online: 15 Nov 2022


In red-fleshed kiwifruit, anthocyanin pigmentation is a crucial commercial trait. The MYB-bHLH-WD40 (MBW) complex and other transcription factors regulate its accumulation. Herein, a new SEP gene, AcMADS68, was identified as a regulatory candidate for anthocyanin biosynthesis in the kiwifruit by transcriptome data and bioinformatic analyses. AcMADS68 alone could not induce the accumulation of anthocyanin both in Actinidia arguta fruit and tobacco leaves. However, in combination with AcMYBF110, AcMYB123, and AcbHLH1AcMADS68 co-overexpression increased anthocyanin biosynthesis, whereas its silencing reduced anthocyanin accumulation. The results of the dual-luciferase reporter, firefly luciferase complementation, yeast two-hybrid and co-immunoprecipitation assays showed that AcMADS68 could interact with both AcMYBF110 and AcMYB123 but not with AcbHLH1, thereby co-regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis by promoting the activation of the target genes, including AcANSAcF3GT1, and AcGST1. Moreover, AcMADS68 also could activate the promoter of AcbHLH1 surported by dual-luciferase reporter and yeast one-hybrid assays, thereby further amplifying the regulation signals from the MBW complex, thus resulting in enhanced anthocyanin accumulation in the kiwifruit. These findings may facilitate better elucidation of various regulatory mechanisms underlying anthocyanin accumulation and contribute to the quality enhancement of red-fleshed kiwifruit.