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Research article2024Peer reviewed

Genomic basis of the distinct biosynthesis of β-glucogallin, a biochemical marker for hydrolyzable tannin production, in three oak species

Yang, Qinsong; Li, Jinjin; Wang, Yan; Wang, Zefu; Pei, Ziqi; Street, Nathaniel R.; Bhalerao, Rishikesh P.; Yu, Zhaowei; Gao, Yuhao; Ni, Junbei; Jiao, Yang; Sun, Minghui; Yang, Xiong; Chen, Yixin; Liu, Puyuan; Wang, Jiaxi; Liu, Yong; Li, Guolei


Hydrolyzable tannins (HTs), predominant polyphenols in oaks, are widely used in grape wine aging, feed additives, and human healthcare. However, the limited availability of a high-quality reference genome of oaks greatly hampered the recognition of the mechanism of HT biosynthesis. Here, high-quality reference genomes of three Asian oak species (Quercus variabilis, Quercus aliena, and Quercus dentata) that have different HT contents were generated. Multi-omics studies were carried out to identify key genes regulating HT biosynthesis. In vitro enzyme activity assay was also conducted. Dual-luciferase and yeast one-hybrid assays were used to reveal the transcriptional regulation. Our results revealed that beta-glucogallin was a biochemical marker for HT production in the cupules of the three Asian oaks. UGT84A13 was confirmed as the key enzyme for beta-glucogallin biosynthesis. The differential expression of UGT84A13, rather than enzyme activity, was the main reason for different beta-glucogallin and HT accumulation. Notably, sequence variations in UGT84A13 promoters led to different trans-activating activities of WRKY32/59, explaining the different expression patterns of UGT84A13 among the three species. Our findings provide three high-quality new reference genomes for oak trees and give new insights into different transcriptional regulation for understanding beta-glucogallin and HT biosynthesis in closely related oak species.


hydrolyzable tannin; oak; whole-genome sequencing; beta-glucogallin

Published in

New Phytologist
2024, Volume: 242, number: 6, pages: 2702-2718
Publisher: WILEY