3 years ago

PpNAC1, a main regulator of phenylalanine biosynthesis and utilization in maritime pine

Mª Belén Pascual, Francisco M. Cánovas, Concepción Ávila, Rafael A. Cañas, María-Teresa Llebrés, Blanca Craven-Bartle
The transcriptional regulation of phenylalanine metabolism is particularly important in conifers, long-lived species that use large amounts of carbon in wood. Here, we show that the Pinus pinaster transcription factor, PpNAC1, is a main regulator of phenylalanine biosynthesis and utilization. A phylogenetic analysis classified PpNAC1 in the NST proteins group, and was selected for functional characterization. PpNAC1 is predominantly expressed in the secondary xylem and compression wood of adult trees. Silencing of PpNAC1 in P. pinaster results in the alteration of stem vascular radial patterning and the downregulation of several genes associated with cell wall biogenesis, and secondary metabolism. Furthermore, trans-activation and EMSA analyses showed that PpNAC1 is able to activate its own expression and PpMyb4 promoter, while PpMyb4 is able to activate PpMyb8, a transcriptional regulator of phenylalanine and lignin biosynthesis in maritime pine. Together, these results suggest that PpNAC1 is a functional ortholog of the Arabidopsis SND1 and NST1 genes and support the idea that key regulators governing secondary cell wall formation could be conserved between gymnosperms and angiosperms. Understanding the molecular switches controlling wood formation is of paramount importance for fundamental tree biology and pave the way for applications in conifer biotechnology. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/pbi.12854

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