Crop Biotech Update

Metabolic Engineering for Proanthocyanidin Production by Repressing Isoflavone Pathways

February 17, 2016

MtPAR is a proanthocyanidin (PA) biosynthesis regulator. However, the mechanism underlying its promotion of PA biosynthesis is not fully understood.

Penghui Li of Huazhong Agricultural University in China led a team of researchers from various research institutions and showed how MtPAR promotes PA production by direct repression of biosynthesis of isoflavones, the major flavonoids in legume, and redirecting its precursors into the PA pathway.

MtPAR repressed isoflavonoid production by suppressing isoflavone biosynthetic genes. MtPAR then upregulated PA-specific genes and decreased the anthocyanin levels. However, it did not alter the expression of anthocyanin biosynthetic genes, but shifted its precursors from the anthocyanin pathway to PA biosynthesis.

This study provides new insights into the role and mechanism of MtPAR in partitioning precursors from isoflavone and anthocyanin pathways into PA pathways for a specific promotion of PA production.

You can read the full article in Plant Biotechnology Journal.