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Purple-blue flower of soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) is controlled by the W2 locus. Previous studies revealed that a MYB transcription factor gene GmMYB-G20-1 was located at a position similar to the W2 gene and that a base substitution generated a stop codon in the MYB domains of 2 soybean lines with purple-blue flowers. This study was conducted to confirm the relationship between GmMYB-G20-1 and the W2 gene. Cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence analysis to detect the base substitution suggested that a similar mutation occurred in 2 other soybean lines having purple-blue flowers, 037-E-8, and Yogetsu 1-blue. Thus, all genotypes having purple-blue flowers had identical base substitutions. To verify the function of GmMYB-G20-1, apple latent spherical virus (ALSV) vectors were constructed to perform virus-induced gene silencing of GmMYB-G20-1. A cultivar Harosoy with purple flowers (W2W2) was infected by the empty ALSV vector (wtALSV) or the GmMYB-G20-1-ALSV vector containing a fragment (nucleotide position 685-885) of GmMYB-G20-1. Plants infected by empty vectors had only purple flowers. In contrast, most flowers of plants infected with GmMYB-G20-1-ALSV had irregular gray/blue sectors in flower petals and some of the flowers had almost gray/blue petals. These results strongly suggest that silencing of GmMYB-G20-1 can alter flower color and that it may correspond to the W2 gene.


Ryoji Takahashi, Noriko Yamagishi, Nobuyuki Yoshikawa. A MYB transcription factor controls flower color in soybean. The Journal of heredity. 2013 Jan-Feb;104(1):149-53

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PMID: 23048163

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