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SJTU Research Team Find New Mechanism of GST initiation in A. annua

September 25, 2017      Author: Tang Kexuan Research Team

Recently, the New Phytologist, an authoritative journal in the field of plant science, published an online article named "The roles of AaMIXTA1 in regulating the initiation of glandular trichomes and cuticle biosynthesis in Artemisia annua", which introduced the latest progress concerning the mechanisms of glandular secretory trichomes (GST) initiation in A. annua made by the research team lead by Professor Tang Kexuan from School of Agriculture & Biology of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU).


To explore the mechanisms of GST initiation in A. annua, the research team screened myeloblastosis (MYB) transcription factor genes from a GST transcriptome database and identified a MIXTA transcription factor, AaMIXTA1, which is expressed predominantly in the basal cells of GST in A. annua. Transcriptome analysis and cuticular lipid profiling showed that AaMIXTA1 is likely to be responsible for activating cuticle biosynthesis. In addition, dual-luciferase reporter assays further demonstrated that AaMIXTA1 could directly activate the expression of genes related to cuticle biosynthesis. Therefore, they reached the conclusion that AaMIXTA1 regulated cuticle biosynthesis and prompted GST initiation without any abnormal impact on the morphological structure of the GSTs and so provides a new way to improve artemisinin content in this important medicinal plant.

This research was supported by National High Technology Research and Development Program for Advanced Materials of China and Shanghai Committee of Science and Technology. The correspondence author is Professor Tang Kexuan from School of Agriculture and Biology of SJTU, and the first author is Shi Pu, a doctoral graduate from SJTU.



Translated by Zang Yifan  Reviewed by Wang Bingyu