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Article|01 Feb 2021|OPEN
The apple 14-3-3 protein MdGRF11 interacts with the BTB protein MdBT2 to regulate nitrate deficiency-induced anthocyanin accumulation
Yi-Ran Ren1, Qiang Zhao2, Yu-Ying Yang1, Tian-En Zhang1, Xiao-Fei Wang1, Chun-Xiang You1 & Yu-Jin Hao1
1State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, Shandong Collaborative Innovation Center for Fruit and Vegetable Production with High Quality and Efficiency, College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai-An, Shandong 271018, China
2Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, Shandong 266109, China

Horticulture Research 8,
Article number: 22 (2021)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2021.22
Views: 270

Received: 27 Sep 2020
Revised: 27 Sep 2020
Accepted: 16 Nov 2020
Published online: 01 Feb 2021


Nitrogen is an important factor that affects plant anthocyanin accumulation. In apple, the nitrate-responsive BTB/TAZ protein MdBT2 negatively regulates anthocyanin biosynthesis. In this study, we found that MdBT2 undergoes posttranslational modifications in response to nitrate deficiency. Yeast two-hybrid, protein pull-down, and bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assays showed that MdBT2 interacts with MdGRF11, a 14-3-3 protein; 14-3-3 proteins compose a family of highly conserved phosphopeptide-binding proteins involved in multiple physiological and biological processes. The interaction of MdGRF11 negatively regulated the stability of the MdBT2 protein via a 26S proteasome-dependent pathway, which increased the abundance of MdMYB1 proteins to activate the expression of anthocyanin biosynthesis-related genes. Taken together, the results demonstrate the critical role of 14-3-3 proteins in the regulation of nitrate deficiency-induced anthocyanin accumulation. Our results provide a novel avenue to elucidate the mechanism underlying the induction of anthocyanin biosynthesis in response to nitrate deficiency.