Overexpression of rosea1 from snapdragon enhances anthocyanin accumulation and abiotic stress tolerance in transgenic tobacco

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Abstract

The co-expression of Rosea1 (Ros1) and Delila (Del) regulates anthocyanin levels in snapdragon flowers, as well as in tomato, petunia, and tobacco. However, there is little information on how Ros1 expression alone controls anthocyanin regulation and whether it is involved in the mechanism that leads to abiotic stress tolerance. In the present study, tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum ‘Xanthi’) transgenic plants overexpressing Ros1 (T 2 -Ros1-1, T 2 -Ros1-2, T 2 -Ros1-3, and T 2 -Ros1-4) promoted accumulation of anthocyanin in leaves and flowers by elevating the transcription of all key genes involved in the biosynthesis of this pigment. This promotion largely occurred through the upregulation of dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR), and anthocyanidin synthase genes in leaves and upregulation of DFR in flowers. Under normal conditions, the transgenic lines and wild type (WT) plants showed well-developed broad leaves and regular roots, whereas a reduction in plant growth was observed under cold and drought stresses. However, the transgenic T 2 -Ros1 lines were able to tolerate the stresses better than the WT line by inducing reactive oxygen species scavenging activities, and the expression of antioxidant-related and stress-responsive genes. In addition, phylogenetic analysis clustered Ros1 with many transcription factors (TFs) that confer tolerance to different abiotic stresses. Overall, the results obtained here suggest that Ros1 overexpression upregulates anthocyanin biosynthetic, antioxidant-related, and stress-responsive genes thereby enhancing anthocyanin accumulation and abiotic stress tolerance.

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Naing, A. H., Ai, T. N., Lim, K. B., Lee, I. J., & Kim, C. K. (2018). Overexpression of rosea1 from snapdragon enhances anthocyanin accumulation and abiotic stress tolerance in transgenic tobacco. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2018.01070

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