J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2022, Vol. 64 ›› Issue (4): 884-900.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13236

• Metabolism and Biochemistry • Previous Articles     Next Articles

MdbHLH3 modulates apple soluble sugar content by activating phosphofructokinase gene expression

Jian‐Qiang Yu1, Kai‐Di Gu1, Li‐Li Zhang1, Cui‐Hui Sun1, Quan‐Yan Zhang2, Jia‐Hui Wang1, Chu‐Kun Wang1, Wen‐Yan Wang1, Meng‐Chi Du1 and Da‐Gang Hu1,3,4*   

  1. 1 National Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an 271018, China
    2 College of Resources and Environment, Linyi University, Linyi 276005, China
    3 MOA Key Laboratory of Horticultural Crop Biology and Germplasm Innovation, Tai'an 271018, China
    4 Shandong Collaborative Innovation Center for Fruit and Vegetable Production with High Quality and Efficiency, Tai'an 271018, China

    *Correspondence: Da‐Gang Hu (fap_296566@163.com)
  • Received:2021-12-22 Accepted:2022-02-20 Online:2022-02-24 Published:2022-04-01


Sugars are involved in plant growth, fruit quality, and signaling perception. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms involved in soluble sugar accumulation is essential to understand fruit development. Here, we report that MdPFPβ, a pyrophosphate-dependent phosphofructokinase gene, regulates soluble sugar accumulation by enhancing the photosynthetic performance and sugar-metabolizing enzyme activities in apple (Malus domestica Borkh.). Biochemical analysis revealed that a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor, MdbHLH3, binds to the MdPFPβ promoter and activates its expression, thus promoting soluble sugar accumulation in apple fruit. In addition, MdPFPβ overexpression in tomato influenced photosynthesis and carbon metabolism in the plant. Furthermore, we determined that MdbHLH3 increases photosynthetic rates and soluble sugar accumulation in apple by activating MdPFPβ expression. Our results thus shed light on the mechanism of soluble sugar accumulation in apple leaves and fruit: MdbHLH3 regulates soluble sugar accumulation by activating MdPFPβ gene expression and coordinating carbohydrate allocation.

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