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Plant J. 2005 Oct;44(1):62-75.

Metabolic engineering of proanthocyanidins by ectopic expression of transcription factors in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Plant Biology Division, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, 2510 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, OK 73401, USA.


Genetic transformation of Arabidopsis thaliana with the Arabidopsis TT2 MYB transcription factor resulted in ectopic expression of the BANYULS gene, encoding anthocyanidin reductase, AHA10 encoding a P-type proton-pump and TT12 encoding a transporter involved in proanthocyanidin biosynthesis. When coupled with constitutive expression of PAP1, a positive regulator of anthocyanin biosynthesis, TT2 expression in Arabidopsis led to accumulation of proanthocyanidins, but only in a subset of cells in which the BANYULS promoter is naturally expressed. Ectopic expression of the maize Lc MYC transcription factor weakly induced AHA10 but did not induce BANYULS, TT12 or accumulation of proanthocyanidins. However, high-level combined expression of TT2, PAP1 and Lc resulted in proanthocyanidin synthesis throughout young leaves and cotyledons, followed by death of the plants 1 to 2 weeks after germination. We discuss these results in relation to engineering proanthocyanidins to improve the quality of food and forage plants.

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