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Identification of target genes for a MYB-type anthocyanin regulator in Gerbera hybrida

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Laitinen, R. A., Ainasoja, M., Broholm, S. K., Teeri, T. H., & Elomaa, P. (2008). Identification of target genes for a MYB-type anthocyanin regulator in Gerbera hybrida. Journal of Experimental Botany, 59(13), 3691-3703. doi:10.1093/jxb/ern216.

Genetic modification of the flavonoid pathway has been used to produce novel colours and colour patterns in ornamental plants as well as to modify the nutritional and pharmaceutical properties of food crops. It has been suggested that co-ordinate control of multiple steps of the pathway with the help of regulatory genes would lead to a more predictable control of metabolic flux. Regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis has been studied in a common ornamental plant, Gerbera hybrida (Asteraceae). An R2R3-type MYB factor, GMYB10, shares high sequence similarity and is phylogenetically grouped together with previously characterized regulators of anthocyanin pigmentation. Ectopic expression of GMYB10 leads to strongly enhanced accumulation of anthocyanin pigments as well as to an altered pigmentation pattern in transgenic gerbera plants. Anthocyanin analysis indicates that GMYB10 specifically induces cyanidin biosynthesis in undifferentiated callus and in vegetative tissues. Furthermore, in floral tissues enhanced pelargonidin production is detected. Microarray analysis using the gerbera 9K cDNA array revealed a highly predicted set of putative target genes for GMYB10 including new gene family members of both early and late biosynthetic genes of the flavonoid pathway. However, completely new candidate targets, such as a serine carboxypeptidase-like gene as well, as two new MYB domain factors, GMYB11 and GMYB12, whose exact function in phenylpropanoid biosynthesis is not clear yet, were also identified.