Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Arabidopsis thaliana MYB75/PAP1 transcription factor induces anthocyanin production in transgenic tomato plants

Diana Lucia Zuluaga A , Silvia Gonzali A , Elena Loreti B , Chiara Pucciariello A , Elena Degl’Innocenti C , Lucia Guidi C , Amedeo Alpi D and Pierdomenico Perata A E

A Plant and Crop Physiology Lab, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Piazza Martiri della Libertà 33, 56127 Pisa, Italy.

B Institute of Biology and Agricultural Biotechnology, CNR, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy.

C Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Via S. Michele degli Scalzi 2, 56124 Pisa, Italy.

D Department of Crop Plant Biology, University of Pisa, Via Mariscoglio 34, 56124 Pisa, Italy.

E Corresponding author. Email: p.perata@sssup.it

Functional Plant Biology 35(7) 606-618 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP08021
Submitted: 29 January 2008  Accepted: 29 May 2008   Published: 21 August 2008

Abstract

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) cv. Micro-Tom plants were transformed with the Arabidopsis thaliana (L.)Heyhn. MYB75/PAP1 (PRODUCTION OF ANTHOCYANIN PIGMENT 1) gene. This gene encodes for a well known transcription factor, which is involved in anthocyanin production and is modulated by light and sucrose. Transgenic tomato plants expressing AtMYB75 were characterised by a significantly higher anthocyanin production in leaves, stems, roots and flowers under normal growth conditions. Further, they also exhibited anthocyanins in fruits. Anthocyanin accumulation was not widespread but took place in specific groups of cells located in epidermal or cortical regions or in proximity of vascular bundles. In all the organs of the transgenic plants, where AtMYB75 overexpression was determined, a clear increase in the accumulation of DFR (DIHYDROFLAVONOL 4-REDUCTASE) transcript was also detected. The expression of the tomato MYB-gene ANT1 (ANTHOCYANIN1), which had previously been identified as a transcriptional endogenous regulator of anthocyanin biosynthesis, was not altered. The higher basal content of anthocyanins in the leaves of the transgenic plants could be further increased in the presence of high light conditions and contributed to mitigate photobleaching damages under high irradiance.

Additional keywords: antioxidant, flavonoids, Micro-Tom, photoprotection, Solanum lycopersicum, transformation.


Acknowledgements

The authors thank Dr A. Teani for the construction of the binary vector, and Dr F. Martinelli for his contribution in tomato plant regeneration. This research was supported by the Italian Ministry of University and Research 22 (MiUR), PRIN2006, TomANTHO Project.


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