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Plant Cell Rep. 2016 Mar;35(3):641-53. doi: 10.1007/s00299-015-1909-3. Epub 2015 Dec 24.

Activation of anthocyanin biosynthesis by expression of the radish R2R3-MYB transcription factor gene RsMYB1.

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National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration, Jeonju, 54874, Republic of Korea.
National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration, Jeonju, 54874, Republic of Korea.
Division of Life Sciences and Bio-Resource and Environmental Center, Incheon National University, Incheon, 22012, Republic of Korea.
Department of Genetic Engineering and Graduate School of Biotechnology, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, 17104, Republic of Korea.


RsMYB1, a MYB TF of red radish origin, was characterized as a positive regulator to transcriptionally activate the anthocyanin biosynthetic machinery by itself in Arabidopsis and tobacco plants. Anthocyanins, providing the bright red-orange to blue-violet colors, are flavonoid-derived pigments with strong antioxidant activity that have benefits for human health. We isolated RsMYB1, which encodes an R2R3-MYB transcription factor (TF), from red radish plants (Raphanus sativus L.) that accumulate high levels of anthocyanins. RsMYB1 shows higher expression in red radish than in common white radish, in both leaves and roots, at different growth stages. Consistent with RsMYB1 function as an anthocyanin-promoting TF, red radishes showed higher expression of all six anthocyanin biosynthetic and two anthocyanin regulatory genes. Transient expression of RsMYB1 in tobacco showed that RsMYB1 is a positive regulator of anthocyanin production with better efficiency than the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) TF gene B-Peru. Also, the synergistic effect of RsMYB1 with B-Peru was larger than the effect of the MYB TF gene mPAP1D with B-peru. Arabidopsis plants stably expressing RsMYB1 produced red pigmentation throughout the plant, accompanied by up-regulation of the six structural and two regulatory genes for anthocyanin production. This broad transcriptional activation of anthocyanin biosynthetic machinery in Arabidopsis included up-regulation of TRANSPARENT TESTA8, which encodes a bHLH TF. These results suggest that overexpression of RsMYB1 promotes anthocyanin production by triggering the expression of endogenous bHLH genes as potential binding partners for RsMYB1. In addition, RsMYB1-overexpressing Arabidopsis plants had a higher antioxidant capacity than did non-transgenic control plants. Taken together, RsMYB1 is an actively positive regulator for anthocyanins biosynthesis in radish plants and it might be one of the best targets for anthocyanin production by single gene manipulation being applicable in diverse plant species.


Anthocyanins; Antioxidant; R2R3-MYB; Radish

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