A Functional InDel in the WRKY10 Promoter Controls the Degree of Flesh Red Pigmentation in Apple
Date:2024-06-19 Page Views: 10

Nan Wang, Wenjun Liu, Zhuoxin Mei, Shuhui Zhang, Qi Zou, Lei Yu, Shenghui Jiang, Hongcheng Fang, Zongying Zhang, Zijing Chen, Shujing Wu, Lailiang Cheng, Xuesen Chen


MYB transcription factors have been linked to anthocyanin synthesis and various color phenotypes in plants. In apple, MYB10 confers a red-flesh phenotype due to a minisatellite insertion in its R6 promoter, but R6:MYB10 genotypes exhibit various degrees of red pigmentation in the flesh, suggesting the involvement of other genetic factors. Here, it is shown that MdWRKY10, a transcription factor identified via DNA pull-down trapping, binds to the promoter of MdMYB10 and activates its transcription. MdWRKY10 specifically interacts with the WDR protein MdTTG1 to join the apple MYB-bHLH-WDR (MBW) complex, which significantly enhances its transcriptional activation activity. A 163-bp InDel detected in the promoter region of the alleles of MdWRKY10 in a hybrid population of identical heterozygous genotypes regarding R6 by structural variation analysis, contains a typical W-box element that MdWRKY10 binds to for transactivation. This leads to increased transcript levels of MdWRKY10 and MdMYB10 and enhanced anthocyanin synthesis in the flesh, largely accounting for the various degrees of flesh red pigmentation in the R6 background. These findings reveal a novel regulatory role of the WRKY-containing protein complex in the formation of red flesh apple phenotypes and provide broader insights into the molecular mechanism governing anthocyanin synthesis in plants.

Paper Linkage:https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/advs.202400998