Homeostatic regulation of flavonoid and lignin biosynthesis in phenylpropanoid pathway of transgenic tobacco

Gene. 2022 Jan 30;809:146017. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2021.146017. Epub 2021 Oct 14.


Flavonoids and lignin consist of a large number of secondarymetabolites which are derived from the phenylpropanoid pathway, and they act as a significant role in plant growth, development, and stress response. However, few reports have documented that how different subbranches of phenylpropanoid metablolic pathway mutually interact. In Arabidopsis, AtCPC (AtCAPRICE) is known to play a negative role in anthocyanin accumulation. Nonetheless, whether AtCPC could control the biosynthesis of lignin is largely unknown. Additionally, whether the RrFLS and RrANR, flavonol synthase and anthocyanidin reductase, from Rosa rugosa regulate different branches of phenylpropanoid pathway is unclear. Here, we performed a series of transgenic experiments with short life cycle tobacco and RNA-Seq analysis. Finally, a series of assays related to biological, physiological, and phenotypic characteristics were undertaken. Our results indicated that ectopic expression of AtCPC in tobacco not only decreased the flavonoid compound accumulation, but also up-regulated several lignin biosynthetic genes, and significantly increased the accumulation of lignin. Our results also revealed that although they respectively improved the flavonol and proanthocyanidin contents, the overexpression of RrFLS and RrANR plays positive roles in lignin biosynthesis in transgenic tobacco plants. Our findings provide a novel insight into the mechanism underlying homeostatic regulation of flavonoid and lignin biosynthesis in phenylpropanoid pathway of plants.

Keywords: Arabidopsis; Flavonoid and lignin biosynthesis; Rosa rugosa; Structural gene; Tobacco; Transcription factor.