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

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgements

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).

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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.

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Correspondence to Longlong Liu or Hongying Li.

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Sun, Z., Linghu, B., Hou, S. et al. Tartary Buckwheat FtMYB31 Gene Encoding an R2R3-MYB Transcription Factor Enhances Flavonoid Accumulation in Tobacco. J Plant Growth Regul 39, 564–574 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00344-019-10000-7

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Keywords

  • Tartary buckwheat
  • R2R3-MYB
  • Transcription factor
  • Flavonol synthesis
  • Transgenic tobacco