R2R3-MYB transcription factors constitute the largest gene family among plant transcription factor families. They became largely divergent during the evolution of land plants and regulate various biological processes. The functions of R2R3-MYBs are mostly characterized in seed plants but are poorly understood in non-seed plants. Here, we examined the function of two R2R3-MYB genes of Marchantia polymorpha (Mapoly0073s0038 and Mapoly0006s0226) that are closely related to subgroup 4 of the R2R3-MYB family. We performed LC/MS/MS metabolomics, RNA-seq analysis and expression analysis in overexpressors and knockout mutants of MpMYB14 and MpMYB02. Overexpression of MpMYB14 remarkably increased the amount of riccionidins, which are specific anthocyanins in liverworts and a few flowering plants. In contrast, overexpression of MpMYB02 increased the amount of several marchantins, which are characteristic cyclic bis (bibenzyl ether) compounds in M. polymorpha and related liverworts. Knockouts of MpMYB14 and MpMYB02 abolished the accumulation of riccionidins and marchantins, respectively. The expression of MpMYB14 was up-regulated by UV-B irradiation, N deficiency, and NaCl treatment, whereas the expression of MpMYB02 was down-regulated by NaCl treatment. Our results suggest that the regulatory framework of phenolic metabolism by R2R3-MYB was already established in early land plants.
Journal of Plant Research – Springer Journals
Published: May 29, 2018
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