Functional identification of anthocyanin glucosyltransferase genes: a Ps3GT catalyzes pelargonidin to pelargonidin 3-O-glucoside painting the vivid red flower color of Paeonia

作  者:Wang QY, Zhu J, Li B, Li SS, Yang Y, Wang QY, Xu WZ*, Wang LS*
卷:257  期:4  页码:65


Although tree peony cultivars of Chinese and Japanese both originated from China, vivid red color is only found in flowers of Japanese cultivars but not of Chinese cultivar groups. In this study, a Japanese tree peony cultivar ‘Taiyoh’ with vivid red petals and a Chinese tree peony cultivar ‘Hu Hong’ with reddish pink petals were chosen as the experimental materials. Flavonoids profiling indicated that pelargonidin 3-O-glucoside (Pg3G) detected only in Japanese cultivar contributed to vivid red color of tree peony petals, while pelargonidin 3,5-di-O-glucoside (Pg3G5G) found in both of Japanese and Chinese cultivars was responsible for pink flower color. Through the integration of full-length transcriptome sequencing and in vitro enzymatic activity analysis, two anthocyanin glucosyltransferase genes PsUGT78A27 and PsUGT75L45 were isolated from the petals of tree peony, and their encoding products exhibited enzymatic activities of pelargonidin 3-O-glucosyltransferase and anthocyanin 5-O-glucosyltransferase, respectively. Further quantitative real-time PCR revealed that PsUGT78A27 displayed high expression in petals of both cultivars and PsUGT75L45 was expressed at high levels in cultivar ‘Hu Hong’ only. Using a gene gun technique, the GFP fusion proteins of PsUGT78A27 and PsUGT75L45 were visualized to be cytoplasmic and nuclear localization in the epidermal cells of tree peony petals, and the glucosylation function of PsUGT78A27 and PsUGT75L45 to alter petal color of tree peony and herbaceous peony had been directly validated in vivo. These results demonstrated that PsUGT78A27 and PsUGT75L45 are key players for the presence or absence of vivid red flower color in tree peony cultivars. Our findings further elucidated the chemical and molecular mechanism of petal pigmentation of Paeonia and could help breed the Paeonia cultivars possessing novel flower colors.