A single MYB transcription factor with multiple functions during flower development

Mathilde Chopy, Marta Binaghi, Gina Cannarozzi, Rayko Halitschke, Benoît Boachon, Roel Heutink, Dikki Pedenla Bomzan, Lea Jäggi, Geert van Geest, Julian C. Verdonk, Cris Kuhlemeier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Members of the R2R3-MYB transcription factor subgroup 19 (SG19) have been extensively studied in multiple plant species using different silenced or mutated lines. Some studies have proposed a function in flower opening, others in floral organ development/maturation, or specialized metabolism production. While SG19 members are clearly key players during flower development and maturation, the resulting picture is complex, confusing our understanding in how SG19 genes function. To clarify the function of the SG19 transcription factors, we used a single system, Petunia axillaris, and targeted its two SG19 members (EOB1 and EOB2) by CRISPR-Cas9. Although EOB1 and EOB2 are highly similar, they display radically different mutant phenotypes. EOB1 has a specific role in scent emission while EOB2 has pleiotropic functions during flower development. The eob2 knockout mutants reveal that EOB2 is a repressor of flower bud senescence by inhibiting ethylene production. Moreover, partial loss-of-function mutants (transcriptional activation domain missing) show that EOB2 is also involved in both petal and pistil maturation through regulation of primary and secondary metabolism. Here, we provide new insights into the genetic regulation of flower maturation and senescence. It also emphasizes the function of EOB2 in the adaptation of plants to specific guilds of pollinators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2007-2025
Number of pages19
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • flower development
  • flower maturation
  • Petunia
  • R2R3-MYB transcription factors
  • senescence
  • starch metabolism
  • terpenoids/isoprenoids/carotenoids
  • volatile compounds


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