Pistacia chinensis is known for its biodiesel production. Several varieties of this plant have leaves that produce anthocyanin, which is responsible for their reddish coloration in autumn. This reddish hue is what makes them useful as ornamental plants. However, the mechanism of anthocyanin accumulation during autumn leaf coloration remains unclear. R2R3-MYB proteins reportedly regulated anthocyanin biosynthesis in many plant species. Here, we performed a genome-wide analysis and expression profiles of R2R3-MYB transcription factor in Pistacia. A total of 158 R2R3-MYB proteins were identified and grouped into 32 clades. Combining the data from RNA-seq and qRT-PCR, one key gene, EVM0016534, was screened and identified to have the highest correlation with anthocyanin accumulation. It was named PcMYB113 due to its sequence similarity to AtMYB113 and it could bind to the promoter of PcF3H. Furthermore, ectopic expression of PcMYB113 in Arabidopsis promoted the accumulation of anthocyanin in the seed coat, cotyledon, and mature leaves, thus confirming the function of PcMYB113 in anthocyanin biosynthesis. In addition, PcMYB113 had a specifically higher expression in senesced red leaves than in mature green leaves and young red leaves in P. chinensis, thereby suggesting the potential role of PcMYB113 in promoting anthocyanin biosynthesis during autumn leaf coloration. These findings enrich our understanding of the function of R2R3-MYB genes in anthocyanin biosynthesis and autumn leaf coloration.
Keywords: Anthocyanin biosynthesis; Leaf senescence; MYB transcription factor; MYB113; Pistacia chinensis.
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