Differential regulation of the anthocyanin profile in purple kiwifruit ( Actinidia species)

Yongyan Peng, Kui Lin-Wang, Janine M Cooney, Tianchi Wang, Richard V Espley, Andrew C Allan
Horticulture Research 2019, 6: 3
Anthocyanins are a group of secondary metabolites that colour fruit and flowers orange, red, purple or blue depending on a number of factors, such as the basic structure, co-pigmentation, metal ion complexation and vacuolar pH. The biosynthesis of anthocyanin is regulated at the transcriptional level by a group of transcription factors, the MYB-bHLH-WD40 (MBW) complex. In this study, the purple colouration in several kiwifruit ( Actinidia) species was identified and characterised as red cyanidin-based and blue delphinidin-based anthocyanins. The differential pigmentation in the skin and flesh can be attributed to the differential ratio of cyanidin and delphinidin derivatives accumulated in the total anthocyanin profile. The expression of anthocyanin biosynthetic genes chalcone synthase ( CHS ), flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase ( F3GT ), flavonoid 3'-hydroxylase ( F3 ' H ) and flavonoid 3'5'-hydroxylase ( F3 ' 5 ' H ) is crucial for anthocyanin accumulation. However, the balance of expression of the F3 ' H and F3 ' 5 ' H genes appears responsible for the ratio of cyanidin and delphinidin derivatives, while a lack of CHS , F3GT and MYB110 expression is responsible for a lack of total anthocyanins. The transcriptional regulation of the F3 ' H and F3 ' 5 ' H promoters by the R2R3 MYB transcription factor MYB110 is markedly different in tobacco transient assays. When kiwifruit MYB10 or MYB110 are over-expressed in Actinidia chinensis both cyanidin-based and delphinidin-based anthocyanins are elevated, but F3 ' H and F3 ' 5 ' H genes are not strongly correlated with MYB expression. These results suggest that the core kiwifruit anthocyanin pathway genes are dependent on characterised MYB transcription factors, while other regulatory proteins are more directly responsible for the expression of the F3 ' H and F3 ' 5 ' H genes.

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