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Plant Cell Environ. 2019 Dec 13. doi: 10.1111/pce.13699. [Epub ahead of print]

Carbon starvation reduces carbohydrate and anthocyanin accumulation in red-fleshed fruit via trehalose 6-phosphate and MYB27.

Author information

1
New Cultivar Innovation, The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited (PFR), Auckland, New Zealand.
2
Sustainable Production, The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited (PFR), Hamilton, New Zealand.
3
Sustainable Production, The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited (PFR), Kerikeri, New Zealand.
4
System Regulation, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm, Germany.
5
Food Innovation, The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited (PFR), Palmerston North, New Zealand.
6
School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Abstract

Kiwifruit (Actinidia spp.) is a recently domesticated fruit crop with several novel-coloured cultivars being developed. Achieving uniform fruit flesh pigmentation in red genotypes is challenging. To investigate the cause of colour variation between fruits, we focused on a red-fleshed Actinidia chinensis var. chinensis genotype. It was hypothesized that carbohydrate supply could be responsible for this variation. Early in fruit development, we imposed high or low (carbon starvation) carbohydrate supplies treatments; carbohydrate import or redistribution was controlled by applying a girdle at the shoot base. Carbon starvation affected fruit development as well as anthocyanin and carbohydrate metabolite concentrations, including the signalling molecule trehalose 6-phosphate. RNA-Seq analysis showed down-regulation of both gene-encoding enzymes in the anthocyanin and carbohydrate biosynthetic pathways. The catalytic trehalose 6-phosphate synthase gene TPS1.1a was down-regulated, whereas putative regulatory TPS7 and TPS11 were strongly up-regulated. Unexpectedly, under carbon starvation MYB10, the anthocyanin pathway regulatory activator was slightly up-regulated, whereas MYB27 was also up-regulated and acts as a repressor. To link these two metabolic pathways, we propose a model where trehalose 6-phosphate and the active repressor MYB27 are involved in sensing the carbon starvation status. This signals the plant to save resources and reduce the production of anthocyanin in fruits.

KEYWORDS:

MYB10; MYB27; carbohydrate supply; kiwifruit; nonstructural carbohydrates; outer pericarp; starch; trehalose 6-phosphate

PMID:
31834629
DOI:
10.1111/pce.13699

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