Apple skin patterning is associated with differential expression of MYb10

Telias, Adriana, Lin-Wang, Kui, Stevenson, David E., Cooney, Janine M., Hellens, Roger P., Allan, Andrew C., Hoover, Emily E., & Bradeen, James M. (2011) Apple skin patterning is associated with differential expression of MYb10. BMC Plant Biology, 11(93).

View at publisher (open access)



Some apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) varieties have attractive striping patterns, a quality attribute that is important for determining apple fruit market acceptance. Most apple cultivars (e.g. 'Royal Gala') produce fruit with a defined fruit pigment pattern, but in the case of 'Honeycrisp' apple, trees can produce fruits of two different kinds: striped and blushed. The causes of this phenomenon are unknown.


Here we show that striped areas of 'Honeycrisp' and 'Royal Gala' are due to sectorial increases in anthocyanin concentration. Transcript levels of the major biosynthetic genes and MYB10, a transcription factor that upregulates apple anthocyanin production, correlated with increased anthocyanin concentration in stripes. However, nucleotide changes in the promoter and coding sequence of MYB10 do not correlate with skin pattern in 'Honeycrisp' and other cultivars differing in peel pigmentation patterns. A survey of methylation levels throughout the coding region of MYB10 and a 2.5 Kb region 5' of the ATG translation start site indicated that an area 900 bp long, starting 1400 bp upstream of the translation start site, is highly methylated. Cytosine methylation was present in all three contexts, with higher methylation levels observed for CHH and CHG (where H is A, C or T) than for CG. Comparisons of methylation levels of the MYB10 promoter in 'Honeycrisp' red and green stripes indicated that they correlate with peel phenotypes, with an enrichment of methylation observed in green stripes.


Differences in anthocyanin levels between red and green stripes can be explained by differential transcript accumulation of MYB10. Different levels of MYB10 transcript in red versus green stripes are inversely associated with methylation levels in the promoter region. Although observed methylation differences are modest, trends are consistent across years and differences are statistically significant. Methylation may be associated with the presence of a TRIM retrotransposon within the promoter region, but the presence of the TRIM element alone cannot explain the phenotypic variability observed in 'Honeycrisp'. We suggest that methylation in the MYB10 promoter is more variable in 'Honeycrisp' than in 'Royal Gala', leading to more variable color patterns in the peel of this cultivar.

Impact and interest:

48 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
49 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

28 since deposited on 09 May 2014
6 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 71302
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Cited By (since 1996):17
Export Date: 6 May 2014
Source: Scopus
Art. No.: 93
PubMed ID: 21599973
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2229-11-93
ISSN: 1471-2229
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: 2011 Telias et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Deposited On: 09 May 2014 03:16
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2015 00:23

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page