MYB-bHLH-TTG1 regulates Arabidopsis seed coat biosynthesis pathways directly and indirectly via multiple tiers of transcription factors Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract MYB–bHLH–WDR (MBW) transcription factor (TF) complexes regulate Arabidopsis seed coat development including mucilage and tannin biosynthesis. The R2R3 MYBs MYB5, MYB23 and TRANSPARENT TESTA2 (TT2) participate in the MBW complexes with the WD-repeat protein TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA1 (TTG1). These complexes regulate GLABRA2 (GL2) and TTG2 expression in developing seeds. Microarray transcriptome analysis of ttg1-1- and wild-type (Ler) developing seeds identified 246 TTG1-regulated genes, which include all known metabolic genes of the tannin biosynthetic pathway. The first detailed TTG1-dependent metabolic pathways could be proposed for the biosynthesis of mucilage, jasmonic acid (JA) and cuticle including wax ester in developing seeds. We also assigned many known and previously uncharacterized genes to the activation/inactivation of hormones, plant immunity and nutrient transport. The promoters of six cuticle pathway genes were active in developing seeds. Expression of 11 genes was determined in the developing seeds of the combinatorial mutants of MYB5, MYB23 and TT2, and in the combinatorial mutants of GL2, HOMEODOMAIN GLABROUS2 (HDG2) and TTG2. These six TFs positively co-regulated the expression of four repressor genes while three of the six TFs repressed the wax biosynthesis genes examined, suggesting that the three TFs upregulate the expression of these repressor genes, which, in turn, repress the wax biosynthesis genes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis identified 21 genes directly regulated by MYB5 including GL2, HDG2, TTG2, four repressor genes and various metabolic genes. We propose a multi-tiered regulatory mechanism by which MBWs regulate tannin, mucilage, JA and cuticle biosynthetic pathways.

publication date

  • 2020