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A new dominant Arabidopsis transparent testa mutant, sk21-D, and modulation of seed flavonoid biosynthesis by KAN4

Gao, P., Li, X., Cui, D., Wu, L., Parkin, I., Gruber, M.Y. (2010). A new dominant Arabidopsis transparent testa mutant, sk21-D, and modulation of seed flavonoid biosynthesis by KAN4, 8(9), 979-993. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7652.2010.00525.x

Abstract

Flavonoids are widely distributed in plants and play important roles in human and animal health and nutrition. Model plants with discernible flavonoid phenotypes, such as Arabidopsis seed patterning lines, are valuable tools that can provide avenues for understanding flavonoid and proanthocyanidin accumulation patterns in crops. Here, we characterize the GARP family gene, KAN4, which earlier was known for its role in defining the boundary of the seed integument layers in Arabidopsis. In this report, KAN4 is shown to broadly control the flavonoid pathway in Arabidopsis seed. Loss-of-function T-DNA mutants show reduced transcript abundance for most flavonoid and proanthocyanidin genes in young siliques and decreased flavonols and variable proanthocyanidin content in mature seed. KAN4 was localized to the nucleus and could specifically bind with promoters of early and late flavonoid biosynthetic genes and PA regulatory genes. Activated over-expression of KAN4 led to the discovery of the first novel dominant Arabidopsis transparent testa mutant, sk21-D. Two KAN4 transcript splice variants with identical MYB-like B-motifs were highly expressed in sk21-D and equivalently designed activation atk4-OE lines. This extreme dual expression resulted in large, light- and dark-coloured patches on seed coats of sk21-D and atk4-OE lines, but not in non-activated over-expression lines. Flavonoid and proanthocyanidin contents and transcript amounts for genes involved in flavonoid biosynthesis also were reduced in KAN4 activation lines. These results confirm that KAN4 is a regulatory protein which modulates the content of flavonols and PA in Arabidopsis seeds. © 2010 Crown in the right of Canada. Plant Biotechnology Journal © 2010 Society for Experimental Biology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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