Plant Biotechnology
Online ISSN : 1347-6114
Print ISSN : 1342-4580
ISSN-L : 1342-4580
Invited Paper
Identification of novel MYB transcription factors involved in the isoflavone biosynthetic pathway by using the combination screening system with agroinfiltration and hairy root transformation
Md. Abdur Rauf SarkarSatoshi WatanabeAkihiro SuzukiFumio HashimotoToyoaki Anai
Author information
Supplementary material

2019 Volume 36 Issue 4 Pages 241-251


Soybean isoflavones are functionally important secondary metabolites that are mainly accumulated in seeds. Their biosynthetic processes are regulated coordinately at the transcriptional level; however, screening systems for key transcription factors (TFs) are limited. Here we developed a combination screening system comprising a simple agroinfiltration assay and a robust hairy root transformation assay. First, we screened for candidate MYB TFs that could activate the promoters of the chalcone synthase (CHS) gene GmCHS8 and the isoflavone synthase (IFS) genes GmIFS1 and GmIFS2 in the isoflavone biosynthetic pathway. In the agroinfiltration assay, we co-transformed a LjUbi (Lotus japonicus polyubiquitin gene) promoter-fused MYB gene with target promoter-fused GUS (β-glucuronidase) gene constructs, and identified three genes (GmMYB102, GmMYB280, and GmMYB502) as candidate regulators of isoflavone biosynthesis. We then evaluated the functional regulatory role of identified three MYB genes in isoflavone biosynthesis using hairy roots transformation assay in soybean for the accumulation of isoflavones. Three candidate MYB genes showed an increased accumulation of total isoflavones in hairy root transgenic lines. Accumulation of total isoflavones in the three MYB-overexpressing lines was approximately 2-to 4-folds more than that in the vector control, confirming their possible role to regulate isoflavone biosynthesis. However, the significant accumulation of authentic GmCHS8, GmIFS1, and GmIFS2 transcripts could not be observed except for the GmMYB502-overexpressing line. Therefore, the analysis of isoflavone accumulation in transgenic hairy root was effective for evaluation of transactivation activity of MYB TFs for isoflavone biosynthetic genes. Our results demonstrate a simple and robust system that can potentially identify the function of orphan TFs in diverse plant metabolic pathways.

Content from these authors
© 2019 The Japanese Society for Plant Cell and Molecular Biology
Previous article Next article