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A functional chromogen gene C from wild rice is involved in a different anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway in indica and japonica

By Weihua Qiao, Yanyan Wang, Rui Xu, Ziyi Yang, Yan Sun, Long Su, Lizhen Zhang, Junrui Wang, Jingfen Huang, Xiaoming Zheng, Shijia Liu, Yunlu Tian, Liangming Chen, Xi Liu, Jinhao Lan, Qingwen Yang

Posted 24 Aug 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.24.264770

Accumulation of anthocyanin is a desirable trait to be selected in rice domestication, but the molecular mechanism of anthocyanin biosynthesis in rice remains largely unknown. In this study, a novel allele of chromogen gene C , OrC1, from Oryza rufipongon was cloned and identified as a determinant regulator of anthocyanin biosynthesis. Although OrC1 functions in purple apiculus, leaf sheath and stigma in indica background, it only promotes purple apiculus in japonica . Transcriptome analysis revealed that OrC1 regulates flavonoid biosynthesis pathway and activates a few bHLH and WD40 genes of ternary MYB-bHLH-WD40 complex in indica . Differentially expressed genes and metabolites were found in the indica and japonica backgrounds, indicating that OrC1 activated the anthocyanin biosynthetic genes OsCHI , OsF3H , OsANS , OsINS and OsANR and produced six metabolites independently. Artificial selection and domestication of C1 gene in rice occurred on the coding region in the two subspecies independently. Our results reveal the regulatory system and domestication of C1 , provide new insights into MYB transcript factor involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis, and show the potential of engineering anthocyanin biosynthesis in rice.

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