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Article|02 Jun 2023|OPEN
UV-B promotes flavonoid biosynthesis in Ginkgo biloba by inducing the GbHY5-GbMYB1-GbFLS module
Sian Liu1 , Xiaoyin Gu1 , Yanbing Jiang1 , Lu Wang1 , Nan Xiao1 , Yadi Chen1 , Biao Jin1 , Li Wang1 , and Weixing Li,1 ,
1College of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhad118 (2023)
Views: 125

Received: 01 Dec 2022
Accepted: 23 May 2023
Published online: 02 Jun 2023


Ginkgo biloba (ginkgo) leaves have medicinal value due to their high levels of secondary metabolites, such as flavonoids. We found that the flavonoid content in ginkgo leaves increases significantly at high altitudes (Qinghai-Tibet Plateau). Considering that high UV-B radiation is among the key environmental characteristics of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, we carried out simulated UV-B treatments on ginkgo seedlings and found that the flavonoid content of the leaves increased significantly following the treatments. Combined with results from our previous studies, we determined that the transcription factor GbHY5 may play a key role in responses to UV-B radiation. Overexpression of GbHY5 significantly promoted the accumulation of flavonoids in both ginkgo callus and Arabidopsis thaliana. Furthermore, yeast two-hybrid and real-time quantitative PCR showed that GbHY5 promoted the expression of GbMYB1 by interacting with GbMYB1 protein. Overexpression of GbMYB1 in ginkgo callus and A. thaliana also significantly promoted flavonoid biosynthesis. GbFLS encodes a key enzyme in flavonoid biosynthesis, and its promoter has binding elements of GbHY5 and GbMYB1. A dual-luciferase reporter assay indicated that while GbHY5 and GbMYB1 activated the expression of GbFLS individually, their co-expression achieved greater activation. Our analyses reveal the molecular mechanisms by which the UV-B-induced GbHY5-GbMYB1-GbFLS module promotes flavonoid biosynthesis in ginkgo, and they provide insight into the use of UV-B radiation to enhance the flavonoid content of ginkgo leaves.