J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2020, Vol. 62 ›› Issue (11): 1688-1702.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12943

Special Issue: Hormone signaling

• Metabolism and Biochemistry • Previous Articles     Next Articles

SmMYB2 promotes salvianolic acid biosynthesis in the medicinal herb Salvia miltiorrhiza

Changping Deng1,2† , Yao Wang1,3† , Fenfen Huang3 , Sunjie Lu1 , Limei Zhao1 , Xingyuan Ma2 and Guoyin Kai1,3*   

  1. 1Laboratory of Medicinal Plant Biotechnology, College of Pharmacy, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310053, China
    2State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, School of Biotechnology, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China
    3Institute of Plant Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China

    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    Email: Guoyin Kai(guoyinkai@yahoo.com; kaiguoyin@zcmu.edu.cn)
  • Received:2020-03-01 Accepted:2020-04-27 Online:2020-04-28 Published:2020-11-01


MYB transcription factors play vital roles in plant growth and metabolism. The phytohormone methyl jasmonate (MeJA) promotes phenolic acid accumulation in the medicinal herb Salvia miltiorrhiza, but the regulatory mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we identified the MeJA‐responsive R2R3‐MYB transcription factor gene SmMYB2 from a transcriptome library produced from MeJA‐treated S. miltiorrhiza hairy roots. SmMYB2 expression was tightly correlated with the expression of key salvianolic acid biosynthetic genes including CYP98A14. SmMYB2 was highly expressed in the periderm of S. miltiorrhiza and SmMYB2 localized to the nucleus. Overexpressing SmMYB2 in S. miltiorrhiza hairy roots significantly increased the levels of salvianolic acids (including rosmarinic acid and salvianolic acid B) by upregulating salvianolic acid biosynthetic genes such as CYP98A14. SmMYB2 binds to the MYB‐binding motifs in the promoter of CYP98A14, as confirmed by a dual‐luciferase assay and electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Anthocyanin contents were significantly higher in SmMYB2‐overexpressing hairy root lines than the control, primarily due to the increased expression of CHI, DFR, and ANS. These findings reveal the novel regulatory role of SmMYB2 in MeJA‐mediated phenolic acid biosynthesis, providing a useful target gene for metabolic engineering and shedding light on the salvianolic acid regulatory network.

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