Two showy traits, scent emission and pigmentation, are finely coregulated by the MYB transcription factor PH4 in petunia flowers

Alon Cna'ani, Ben Spitzer-Rimon, Jasmin Ravid, Moran Farhi, Tania Masci, Javiera Aravena-Calvo, Marianna Ovadis, Alexander Vainstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mechanism underlying the emission of phenylpropanoid volatiles is poorly understood. Here, we reveal the involvement of PH4, a petunia MYB-R2R3 transcription factor previously studied for its role in vacuolar acidification, in floral volatile emission. We used the virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) approach to knock down PH4 expression in petunia, measured volatile emission and internal pool sizes by GC-MS, and analyzed transcript abundances of scent-related phenylpropanoid genes in flowers. Silencing of PH4 resulted in a marked decrease in floral phenylpropanoid volatile emission, with a concurrent increase in internal pool levels. Expression of scent-related phenylpropanoid genes was not affected. To identify putative scent-related targets of PH4, we silenced PH5, a tonoplast-localized H+-ATPase that maintains vacuolar pH homeostasis. Suppression of PH5 did not yield the reduced-emission phenotype, suggesting that PH4 does not operate in the context of floral scent through regulation of vacuolar pH. We conclude that PH4 is a key floral regulator that integrates volatile production and emission processes and interconnects two essential floral traits - color and scent.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)708-714
Number of pages7
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume208
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

Keywords

  • Emission
  • Floral scent
  • MYB
  • PH
  • Petunia
  • Phenylpropanoid
  • Volatile

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