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Plant Sci. 2019 Oct;287:110181. doi: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2019.110181. Epub 2019 Jul 2.

A non-LTR retrotransposon activates anthocyanin biosynthesis by regulating a MYB transcription factor in Capsicum annuum.

Author information

1
Department of Plant Science, Plant Genomics & Breeding Institute, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: jung1615@snu.ac.kr.
2
Department of Plant Science, Plant Genomics & Breeding Institute, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: jvs15@snu.ac.kr.
3
Department of Plant Science, Plant Genomics & Breeding Institute, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: kmyjj3802@hanmail.net.
4
Department of Plant Science, Plant Genomics & Breeding Institute, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: kwonjk@snu.ac.kr.
5
Department of Plant Science, Plant Genomics & Breeding Institute, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: bk54@snu.ac.kr.

Abstract

The flavonoid compound anthocyanin is an important plant metabolite with nutritional and aesthetic value as well as anti-oxidative capacity. MYB transcription factors are key regulators of anthocyanin biosynthesis in plants. In pepper (Capsicum annuum), the CaAn2 gene, encoding an R2R3 MYB transcription factor, regulates anthocyanin biosynthesis. However, no functional study or structural analysis of functional and dysfunctional CaAn2 alleles has been performed. Here, to elucidate the function of CaAn2, we generated transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana and Arabidopsis thaliana plants expressing CaAn2. All of the tissues in these plants were purple. Promoter analysis of CaAn2 in purple C. annuum 'KC00134' plants revealed the insertion of a non-long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposon designated Ca-nLTR-A. To determine the promoter activity and functional domain of Ca-nLTR-A, various constructs carrying different domains of Ca-nLTR-A fused with GUS were transformed into N. benthamiana. Promoter analysis showed that the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of the second open reading frame of Ca-nLTR-A is responsible for CaAn2 expression in 'KC00134'. Sequence analysis of Ca-nLTR-A identified transcription factor binding sites known to regulate anthocyanin biosynthesis. This study indicates that insertion of a non-LTR retrotransposon in the promoter may activate expression of CaAn2 by recruiting transcription factors at the 3' UTR and thus provides the first example of exaptation of a non-LTR retrotransposon into a new promoter in plants.

KEYWORDS:

Anthocyanin; Capsicum annuum; Immature fruit color; MYB transcription factor; Non-LTR retrotransposon; Transgenics

PMID:
31481212
DOI:
10.1016/j.plantsci.2019.110181
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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