Functional complementation of anthocyanic sequestration in the vacuole by widely divergent gluthione S-transferases

M.R. Alfenito, E.J. Souer, R. Buell, R.E. Koes, J.N.M. Mol, V. Walbot

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) traditionally have been studied in plants and other organisms for their ability to detoxify chemically diverse herbicides and other toxic organic compounds. Anthocyanins are among the few endogenous substrates of plant GSTs that have been identified. The Bronze2 (Bz2) gene encodes a type III GST and performs the last genetically defined step of the maize anthocyanin pigment pathway. This step is the conjugation of glutathione to cyanidin 3-glucoside (C3G). Glutathionated C3G is transported to the vacuole via a tonoplast Mg-ATP-requiring glutathione pump (GS-X pump). Genetically, the comparable step in the petunia anthocyanin pathway is controlled by the Anthocyanin9 (An9) gene. An9 was cloned by transposon tagging and found to encode a type I plant GST. Bz2 and An9 have evolved independently from distinct types of GSTs, but each is regulated by the conserved transcriptional activators of the anthocyanin pathway. Here, a phylogenetic analysis is presented, with special consideration given to the origin of these genes and their relaxed substrate requirements in particle bombardment tests, An9 and Bz2 functionally complement both mutants. Among several other GSTs tested, only soybean GmGST26A (previously called GmHsp26A and GH2/4) and maize GSTIII were found to confer vacuolar sequestration of anthocyanin. Previously, these genes had not been associated with the anthocyanin pathway. Requirements for An9 and Bz2 gene function were investigated by sequencing functional and nonfunctional germinal revertants of an9-T3529, bz2::Ds, and bz2::Mu1.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11351-1149
    Number of pages14
    JournalThe Plant Cell
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


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