J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2024, Vol. 66 ›› Issue (2): 265-284.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13608

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

MdbHLH162 connects the gibberellin and jasmonic acid signals to regulate anthocyanin biosynthesis in apple

Jian‐Ping An1,2*, Rui‐Rui Xu3, Xiao‐Na Wang1, Xiao‐Wei Zhang1, Chun‐Xiang You1* and Yuepeng Han2*   

  1. 1. Apple technology innovation center of Shandong Province, College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai-An 271018, China;
    2. CAS Key Laboratory of Plant Germplasm Enhancement and Specialty Agriculture, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Hubei Hongshan Laboratory, The Innovative Academy of Seed Design of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China;
    3. College of Biology and Oceanography, Weifang University, Weifang 261061, China
    *Correspondences: Chun‐Xiang You (youchunxiang@sdau.edu.cn); Yuepeng Han (yphan@wbgcas.cn); Jian‐Ping An (anjianping@sdau.edu.cn; anjianping@wbgcas.cn, Dr. An is fully responsible for the distributions of all materials associated with this article)
  • Received:2023-09-14 Accepted:2024-01-03 Online:2024-01-29 Published:2024-02-01

Abstract: Anthocyanins are secondary metabolites induced by environmental stimuli and developmental signals. The positive regulators of anthocyanin biosynthesis have been reported, whereas the anthocyanin repressors have been neglected. Although the signal transduction pathways of gibberellin (GA) and jasmonic acid (JA) and their regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis have been investigated, the cross-talk between GA and JA and the antagonistic mechanism of regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis remain to be investigated. In this study, we identified the anthocyanin repressor MdbHLH162 in apple and revealed its molecular mechanism of regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis by integrating the GA and JA signals. MdbHLH162 exerted passive repression by interacting with MdbHLH3 and MdbHLH33, which are two recognized positive regulators of anthocyanin biosynthesis. MdbHLH162 negatively regulated anthocyanin biosynthesis by disrupting the formation of the anthocyanin-activated MdMYB1-MdbHLH3/33 complexes and weakening transcriptional activation of the anthocyanin biosynthetic genes MdDFR and MdUF3GT by MdbHLH3 and MdbHLH33. The GA repressor MdRGL2a antagonized MdbHLH162-mediated inhibition of anthocyanins by sequestering MdbHLH162 from the MdbHLH162-MdbHLH3/33 complex. The JA repressors MdJAZ1 and MdJAZ2 interfered with the antagonistic regulation of MdbHLH162 by MdRGL2a by titrating the formation of the MdRGL2a-MdbHLH162 complex. Our findings reveal that MdbHLH162 integrates the GA and JA signals to negatively regulate anthocyanin biosynthesis. This study provides new information for discovering more anthocyanin biosynthesis repressors and explores the cross-talk between hormone signals.

Key words: anthocyanin biosynthesis, bHLH transcription factor, gibberellin, jasmonic acid, regulatory network, transcriptional regulation

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