Anthocyanins are the largest group of water-soluble pigments and beneficial for human health. Although most plants roots have the potential to express natural biosynthesis pathways required to produce specialized metabolites such as anthocyanins, the anthocyanin synthesis is specifically silenced in roots. To explore the molecular mechanism of absence and production ability of anthocyanin in the roots, investigated the effect of a bHLH gene AmDelila, and an R2R3-MYB gene AmRosea1, which are the master regulators of anthocyanin biosynthesis in Antirrhinum majus flowers, by expressing these genes in transformed hairy roots of A. majus. Co-ectopic expression of both AmDelila and AmRosea1 significantly upregulated the expression of the key target structural genes in the anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway. Furthermore, this resulted in strongly enhanced anthocyanin accumulation in transformed hairy roots. Ectopic expression of AmDelila alone did not gives rise to any significant anthocyanin accumulation, however, ectopic expression of AmRosea1 alone clearly upregulated expression of the main structural genes as well as greatly promoted anthocyanin accumulation in transformed hairy roots, where the contents reached 0.773-2.064 mg/g fresh weight. These results suggest that AmRosea1 plays a key role in the regulatory network in controlling the initiation of anthocyanin biosynthesis in roots, and the combination of AmRosea1 and hairy root culture is a powerful tool to study and production of anthocyanins in the roots of A. majus.
Keywords: Activation of anthocyanin biosynthesis; Anthocyanin content; Antirrhinum majus L.; R2R3-MYB gene AmRosea1; Transformed hairy roots.
© 2021. The Author(s).