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J Plant Physiol. 2008 May 26;165(8):886-94. Epub 2007 Sep 4.

Expression analysis of anthocyanin regulatory genes in response to different light qualities in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Biomolecolari e Biotecnologie, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria, 26, 20133 Milano, Italy.


In this work we analysed, at the transcript level, the response of Arabidopsis anthocyanin regulatory genes of the MYB (PAP1 and PAP2), bHLH (TT8, EGL3 and GL3) and WD40 (TTG1) families to white light in seedlings and to different light qualities in rosette leaves. Our experiments showed strong light induction of the MYB genes PAP1 and PAP2. In particular, the kinetics of PAP1 expression preceded those of PAP2 and all of the structural genes (CHS, DFR, F3H, LDOX), consistent with the hypothesis that it has a key role in light induction of anthocyanin biosynthesis. All bHLH genes analysed showed light induction, and in seedlings their expression preceded that of the late structural genes, suggesting their possible role in light regulation of these structural genes. TTG1 expression is essentially constitutive in both systems. Experiments with transgenic lines over-expressing the MYB factors show that PAP1, but not PAP2, strongly stimulates expression of the anthocyanin structural gene encoding dihydroflavonol reductase, but neither factor affected expression of the early flavonoid biosynthesis gene encoding chalcone synthase. Consistent with these findings, PAP1, but not PAP2, stimulated light induction of anthocyanin biosynthesis in seedlings. We conclude that specific members of the MYB and bHLH families play important roles in regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis in response to different light qualities in Arabidopsis.

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