Tartary Buckwheat FtMYB31 Gene Encoding an R2R3-MYB Transcription Factor Enhances Flavonoid Accumulation in Tobacco

  • Zhaoxia Sun
  • Bin Linghu
  • Siyu Hou
  • Ronghua Liu
  • Li Wang
  • Yanrong Hao
  • Yuanhuai Han
  • Meiliang Zhou
  • Longlong LiuEmail author
  • Hongying LiEmail author


The R2R3-MYB transcription factors play an important role in regulating secondary metabolism biosynthesis and abiotic stress in plants. In this article, we report the identification of the transcription factor gene, FtMYB31, from the popular Eurasian crop tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum) that enhances accumulation of the nutritionally beneficial compound rutin in transgenic tobacco leaves. The FtMYB31 complete cDNA coding sequence was isolated from the leaves of tartary buckwheat, and multiple protein sequence alignments and conserved domain analysis showed it contained a typical R2R3 MYB domain. Subcellular location experiments showed the FtMYB31 protein is localized in nucleus. The phylogenetic tree clustered FtMYB31 with VvMYBPA1 from Vitis vinifera, and AtMYB123 from Arabidopsis thaliana, belonging to the Subgroup 5 cluster. Comparison by qRT-PCR of FtMYB31 transcripts and those from rutin synthesis-related genes showed a relationship between FtMYB31, Ft4CL, and FtUFGT transcripts and rutin content in different tissues of F. tataricum, with correlation coefficients of − 0.68, 0.69, and 0.47, respectively. Transgenic experiments indicated that FtMYB31 upregulated CHS, F3H, and FLS genes in transgenic tobacco and enhanced the accumulation of rutin and total flavonols. These results suggest that FtMYB31 encodes an R2R3-MYB transcription factor that positively regulates flavonol biosynthesis in tartary buckwheat and tobacco and is a possible target for genetically modifying tartary buckwheat to enhance the content of beneficial compounds such as rutin.


Tartary buckwheat R2R3-MYB Transcription factor Flavonol synthesis Transgenic tobacco 



We would like to thank Professor Donald Grierson, University of Nottingham, UK, for discussions and help with the manuscript. This work was supported by the National Key R&D program of China (2017YFE0117600), Shanxi youth science and technology research fund (201801D221296), NSFC (No. 31301385), Research Project Supported by Shanxi Scholarship Council of China (2017-069), China Agriculture Research System (CARS-07-A1), and Shanxi key innovative platform for germplasm enhancement and molecular breeding in major crops (201605D151002).

Author Contributions

ZS, SH, and YH designed the experiments, analyzed the transcriptome data, and wrote the manuscript. BL carried out RNA extraction, cDNA synthesis, and gene cloning. RL and LW carried out expression vector construction and genetic transformation. RL and YH planted and collected plant materials. MZ, LL, and HL supervised the research and modified the manuscript. ZS and BL contributed equally. All the authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

344_2019_10000_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (108 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 108 kb)
344_2019_10000_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (152 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 151 kb)
344_2019_10000_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (62 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 62 kb)
344_2019_10000_MOESM4_ESM.docx (17 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (DOCX 17 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Agriculture, Institute of Agricultural BioengineeringShanxi Agricultural UniversityTaiguPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Shanxi Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Genetic Improvement of Minor CropsTaiguPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Institute of Crop Germplasm ResourcesShanxi Academy of Agricultural SciencesShanxiPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Institute of Crop SciencesChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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