Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC)

, Volume 139, Issue 1, pp 105–117 | Cite as

Ectopic expression of the Anthurium andraeanum (Hort.) R2R3-MYB genes AaMYB4 and AaMYB5 enhance the flower color in transgenic tobacco

  • Chonghui Li
  • Jian Qiu
  • Guangsui Yang
  • Surong Huang
  • Junmei YinEmail author
Original Article


Anthocyanin coloration is crucially important for ornamental traits in Anthurium andraeanum. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for anthocyanin accumulation in this important ornamental plant are poorly understood. Here, we isolated and functionally characterized two R2R3-MYB transcription factor genes AaMYB4 and AaMYB5 from A. andraeanum. Analysis of amino acid sequences indicate that both AaMYB4 and AaMYB5 share homology with the C1 subgroup R2R3-MYBs from monocots. AaMYB4 and AaMYB5 proved to be nucleus-localized proteins. Spatial and temporal expression analysis of AaMYB4 and AaMYB5 suggested that AaMYB4 was mainly expressed in the spathe and young leaves, whereas AaMYB5 was mainly expressed in the young leaves and the spadix. Although the expression patterns of AaMYB4 and AaMYB5 did not correlate with anthocyanin accumulation in the spathe and spadix of cultivar Vitara and Topical, they were positively correlated with anthocyanin concentration in the developing leaves of ‘Tropical’ and were coordinately expressed with key anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway genes. The ectopic expression of AaMYB4 and AaMYB5 in tobacco triggered the accumulation of anthocyanins in the corolla limbs of T1 transgenic progeny, and induced the up-regulation of expression of the key enzyme genes in the anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway of tobacco. Overexpression of AaMYB5 in tobacco also markedly up-regulated the expression of the endogenous MYB regulator gene NtAn2 involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis. Our findings suggest that both AaMYB4 and AaMYB5 from A. andraeanum are involved in the regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis and have potential value in the metabolic engineering of anthocyanin biosynthesis in plants.

Key Message

AaMYB4 and AaMYB5 are R2R3-MYB transcription factors from Anthurium andraeanum. Overexpression of the two genes in tobacco resulted in large anthocyanin accumulation in the corolla limbs.


Anthocyanin Coloration Overexpression Transcriptional regulation 



This research was financially supported by the Hainan Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 2018CXTD344) and the Central Public-interest Scientific Institution Basal Research Fund for Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (Nos. 1630032017074 and 1630032017024).

Author contributions

LCH, QJ, YGS and YJM conceived the study; LCH and QJ performed the experiments and analyzed the data; LCH wrote the manuscript; HSR participated in the performance of the experiments. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

11240_2019_1667_MOESM1_ESM.docx (304 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 304 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tropical Crops Genetic Resources Institute, the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS)/Key Laboratory of Crop Gene Resources and Germplasm Enhancement in Southern ChinaMinistry of AgricultureHaikouChina
  2. 2.Haikou Experimental StationChinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural SciencesHaikouChina
  3. 3.Rubber Research Institute, CATAS/Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Resources of Rubber TreeMinistry of AgricultureHaikouChina
  4. 4.The Engineering Technology Research Center of Tropical Ornamental Plant Germplasm Innovation and UtilizationDanzhouChina

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