Induction of isoprenyl diphosphate synthases, plant hormones and defense signalling genes correlates with traumatic resin duct formation in Norway spruce (Picea abies).
ABSTRACT: Norway spruce (Picea abies) defends itself against herbivores and pathogens by formation of traumatic resin ducts filled with terpenoid-based oleoresin. An important group of enzymes in terpenoid biosynthesis are the short-chain isoprenyl diphosphate synthases which produce geranyl diphosphate (C(10)), farnesyl diphosphate (C(15)), and geranylgeranyl diphosphate (C(20)) as precursors of monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and diterpene resin acids, respectively. After treatment with methyl jasmonate (MJ) we investigated the expression of all isoprenyl diphosphate synthase genes characterized to date from Norway spruce and correlated this with formation of traumatic resin ducts and terpene accumulation. Formation of traumatic resin ducts correlated with higher amounts of monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and diterpene resin acids and an upregulation of isoprenyl diphosphate synthase genes producing geranyl diphosphate or geranylgeranyl diphosphate. Among defense hormones, jasmonate and jasmonate-isoleucine conjugate accumulated to higher levels in trees with extensive traumatic resin duct formation, whereas salicylate did not. Jasmonate and ethylene are likely to both be involved in formation of traumatic resin ducts based on elevated transcripts of genes encoding lipoxygenase and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase associated with resin duct formation. Other genes involved in defense signalling in other systems, mitogen-activated protein kinase3 and nonexpressor of pathogenesis-related gene1, were also associated with traumatic resin duct formation. These responses were detected not only at the site of MJ treatment, but also systemically up to 60 cm above the site of treatment on the trunk.
Project description:Geranyl diphosphate synthase (GPPS) catalyzes the condensation of dimethylallyl diphosphate and isopentenyl diphosphate to form geranyl diphosphate. Geranyl diphosphate is the precursor of monoterpenes, a large family of natural occurring C(10) compounds predominantly found in plants. Similar to plants but unique to animals, some bark beetle genera (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) produce monoterpenes that function in intraspecific chemical communication as aggregation and dispersion pheromones. The release of monoterpene aggregation pheromone mediates host colonization and mating. It has been debated whether these monoterpene pheromone components are derived de novo through the mevalonate pathway or result from simple modifications of dietary precursors. The data reported here provide conclusive evidence for de novo biosynthesis of monoterpene pheromone components from bark beetles. We describe GPPS in the midgut tissue of pheromone-producing male Ips pini. GPPS expression levels are regulated by juvenile hormone III, similar to other mevalonate pathway genes involved in pheromone biosynthesis. In addition, GPPS transcript is almost exclusively expressed in the anterior midgut of male I. pini, the site of aggregation pheromone biosynthesis. The recombinant enzyme was functionally expressed and produced geranyl diphosphate as its major product. The three-dimensional model structure of GPPS shows that the insect enzyme has the sequence structural motifs common to E-isoprenyl diphosphate synthases.
Project description:Resin ducts are important anatomical defensive traits related to biotic resistance in conifers. Previous studies have reported intraspecific genetic variation in resin duct characteristics. However, little is currently known about the micro-evolutionary patterns and adaptive value of these defensive structures. Here, we quantified inter-population genetic variation in resin duct features and their inducibility in Pinus pinaster and assessed whether such variation was associated with climate gradients. To that end, we characterized the resin duct system of 2-year-old saplings from 10 populations across the species' distribution range. We measured axial resin duct features (density, mean size, and percentage conductive area of resin ducts) and their inducibility in response to methyl jasmonate. Genotyping of single nucleotide polymorphisms allowed to account for the population genetic structure in our models in order to avoid spurious correlations between resin duct characteristics and climate. We found large inter-population variation in resin duct density and conductive area, but not in their inducibility. Our results suggest that population variation in the percentage conductive area of resin ducts likely arise from adaptation to local climate conditions. This study highlights the adaptive relevance of resin ducts and helps to shed light on the micro-evolutionary patterns of resin-based defenses in conifers.
Project description:We identified a cis-prenyltransferase gene, neryl diphosphate synthase 1 (NDPS1), that is expressed in cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) cultivar M82 type VI glandular trichomes and encodes an enzyme that catalyzes the formation of neryl diphosphate from isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate. mRNA for a terpene synthase gene, phellandrene synthase 1 (PHS1), was also identified in these glands. It encodes an enzyme that uses neryl diphosphate to produce beta-phellandrene as the major product as well as a variety of other monoterpenes. The profile of monoterpenes produced by PHS1 is identical with the monoterpenes found in type VI glands. PHS1 and NDPS1 map to chromosome 8, and the presence of a segment of chromosome 8 derived from Solanum pennellii LA0716 causes conversion from the M82 gland monoterpene pattern to that characteristic of LA0716 plants. The data indicate that, contrary to the textbook view of geranyl diphosphate as the "universal" substrate of monoterpene synthases, in tomato glands neryl diphosphate serves as a precursor for the synthesis of monoterpenes.
Project description:Resin ducts in the secondary xylem of tree rings are a measure of a tree's defense capacity from insects and pathogens. Because resin ducts are permanently embedded within the xylem, retrospective analysis can be performed to quantify changes in defense over time and determine factors that contribute to this change, such as climate and disturbance. Here, we provide methods on how to measure axial resin ducts in secondary xylem. These methods provide the necessary protocols for consistent quantification of xylem resin ducts and terminology, which will also allow easier cross-comparison among studies in the future. We describe:•Steps to prepare tree cores for resin duct measurements.•Procedure to obtain image and measure individual resin ducts.•Software code to compile duct measurements into a complete chronology with both standardized and unstandardized resin duct metrics for further analyses.
Project description:Isoprenyl diphosphate synthases (IDSs) produce the ubiquitous branched-chain diphosphates of different lengths that are precursors of all major classes of terpenes. Typically, individual short-chain IDSs (scIDSs) make the C10, C15, and C20 isoprenyl diphosphates separately. Here, we report that the product length synthesized by a single scIDS shifts depending on the divalent metal cofactor present. This previously undescribed mechanism of carbon chain-length determination was discovered for a scIDS from juvenile horseradish leaf beetles, Phaedon cochleariae. The recombinant enzyme P. cochleariae isoprenyl diphosphate synthase 1 (PcIDS1) yields 96% C10-geranyl diphosphate (GDP) and only 4% C15-farnesyl diphosphate (FDP) in the presence of Co(2+) or Mn(2+) as a cofactor, whereas it yields only 18% C10 GDP but 82% C15 FDP in the presence of Mg(2+). In reaction with Co(2+), PcIDS1 has a Km of 11.6 ?M for dimethylallyl diphosphate as a cosubstrate and 24.3 ?M for GDP. However, with Mg(2+), PcIDS1 has a Km of 1.18 ?M for GDP, suggesting that this substrate is favored by the enzyme under such conditions. RNAi targeting PcIDS1 revealed the participation of this enzyme in the de novo synthesis of defensive monoterpenoids in the beetle larvae. As an FDP synthase, PcIDS1 could be associated with the formation of sesquiterpenes, such as juvenile hormones. Detection of Co(2+), Mn(2+), or Mg(2+) in the beetle larvae suggests flux control into C10 vs. C15 isoprenoids could be accomplished by these ions in vivo. The dependence of product chain length of scIDSs on metal cofactor identity introduces an additional regulation for these branch point enzymes of terpene metabolism.
Project description:Periodic mountain pine beetle outbreaks have killed millions of hectares of lodgepole pine forests in western North America. Within these forests some pine trees often remain alive. It has been rarely documented whether anatomical defenses differ between beetle-killed and remaining live pine trees, especially at the northern latitudinal range of beetles in North America. In this study, we compared the resin duct-based anatomical defenses and radial growth between beetle-killed and live residual lodgepole pine trees, and we characterized the resin ducts and the growth of the residual trees before and after outbreak. We found that tree radial growth was not associated with tree survival. The best two predictors of tree survival were resin duct size and production (number per year). Trees having larger but fewer resin ducts showed higher survival probability compared to those with smaller but more abundant resin ducts annually. Residual trees had larger resin ducts prior to the outbreak and continued having so after the outbreak. We further categorized residual trees as healthy (having no signs or symptoms of insect or pathogen attacks), declining (with signs or symptoms of biotic attacks), and survived (from mountain pine beetle attacks during the outbreak) to investigate resin duct-based anatomical defenses among them. Healthy trees had consistently larger resin ducts than declining trees in the past 20 years in post-outbreak stands. Survival trees ranked between healthy and declining trees. Overall, these results demonstrate that resin duct size of lodgepole pine trees can be an important component of tree defenses against mountain pine beetle attacks and suggest that lodgepole pine trees with large resin ducts are likely to show resistance to future bark beetle attacks.
Project description:Myrcene, which accounts for 30-50% of the essential oil in hop (Humulus lupulus L.) trichomes, derives from geranyl diphosphate (GPP), the common precursor of monoterpenes. Full-length sequences of heterodimeric GPP synthase small subunit (GPPS.SSU, belonging to the SSU I subfamily) and large subunit (LSU) cDNAs were mined from a hop trichome cDNA library. The SSU was inactive, whereas the LSU produced GPP, farnesyl diphosphate, and geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP) from dimethylallyl diphosphate and isopentenyl diphosphate in vitro. Coexpression of both subunits in Escherichia coli yielded a heterodimeric enzyme exhibiting altered ratios of GPP and GGPP synthase activities and greatly enhanced catalytic efficiency. Transcript analysis suggested that the heterodimeric geranyl(geranyl)diphosphate synthase [G(G)PPS] is involved in myrcene biosynthesis in hop trichomes. The critical role of the conserved CxxxC motif (where "x" can be any hydrophobic amino acid residue) in physical interactions between the 2 subunits was demonstrated by using site-directed mutagenesis, and this motif was used in informatic searches to reveal a previously undescribed SSU subfamily (SSU II) present in both angiosperms and gymnosperms. The evolution and physiological roles of SSUs are discussed.
Project description:Geranyl diphosphate synthase (GPPS) is a plastid localized enzyme that catalyzes the biosynthesis of Geranyl diphosphate (GPP), which is a universal precursor of monoterpenes. Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox L.), a famous deciduous flowering shrub with a strong floral scent character, could have GPPS-like homologs that are involved in monoterpenes biosynthesis, but it remains unclear. In the present study, five full-length GPPS and geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthases (GGPPS) genes were identified in the wintersweet transcriptome database. The isolated cDNAs showed high protein sequence similarity with the other plants GPPS and GGPPS. The phylogenetic analysis further classified these cDNAs into four distinct clades, representing heterodimeric GPPS small subunits (SSU1 and SSU2), homodimeric GPPS, and GGPPS. Analysis of temporal expression revealed that all genes have the highest transcript level at the full-open flower stage. From tissue-specific expression analysis, CpGPPS.SSU1 and CpGGPPS1 were predominantly expressed in petal and flower, whereas CpGPPS.SSU2, GPPS, and GGPPS2 showed a constitutive expression. Additionally, the subcellular localization assay identified the chloroplast localization of SSUs and GGPPSs proteins, and the yeast two-hybrid assay showed that both CpGPPS.SSU1 and CpGPPS.SSU2 can interact with the GGPPS proteins. Taken together, these preliminary results suggest that the heterodimeric GPPS can regulate floral scent biosynthesis in wintersweet flower.
Project description:Terpenoid synthases constitute a highly diverse gene family producing a wide range of cyclic and acyclic molecules consisting of isoprene (C5) residues. Often a single terpene synthase produces a spectrum of molecules of given chain length, but some terpene synthases can use multiple substrates, producing products of different chain length. Only a few such enzymes has been characterized, but the capacity for multiple-substrate use can be more widespread than previously thought. Here we focused on germacrene A synthase (GAS) that is a key cytosolic enzyme in the sesquiterpene lactone biosynthesis pathway in the important medicinal plant Achillea millefolium (AmGAS). The full length encoding gene was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3), functionally characterized, and its in vivo expression was analyzed. The recombinant protein catalyzed formation of germacrene A with the C15 substrate farnesyl diphosphate (FDP), while acyclic monoterpenes were formed with the C10 substrate geranyl diphosphate (GDP) and cyclic monoterpenes with the C10 substrate neryl diphosphate (NDP). Although monoterpene synthesis has been assumed to be confined exclusively to plastids, AmGAS can potentially synthesize monoterpenes in cytosol when GDP or NDP become available. AmGAS enzyme had high homology with GAS sequences from other Asteraceae species, suggesting that multi-substrate use can be more widespread among germacrene A synthases than previously thought. Expression studies indicated that AmGAS was expressed in both autotrophic and heterotrophic plant compartments with the highest expression levels in leaves and flowers. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the cloning and characterization of germacrene A synthase coding gene in A. millefolium, and multi-substrate use of GAS enzymes.
Project description:Isoprenyl chains are found in many important metabolites. These are derived from precursors of the appropriate length produced by isoprenyl diphosphate synthases (IDSs). The human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis makes various isoprenoids/terpenoids, with important roles in their biosynthesis played by two closely related IDSs, encoded by grcC1 (Rv0562) and grcC2 (Rv0989c), with Rv0989c generating the 10-carbon precursor (E)-geranyl diphosphate (GPP), and Rv0562 the 20-carbon precursor (E,E,E)-geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP). Intriguingly, while Rv0562 contains the prototypical trans-IDS first and second aspartate-rich (DDxxD) motifs (FARM and SARM, respectively), Rv0989c uniquely contains arginine in place of the second Asp in the FARM and first Asp in the SARM. Here site-directed mutagenesis of the corresponding residues in both Rv0562 and Rv0989c reveals that these play a role in determination of product chain length. Specifically, substitution of Asp for the Arg in the FARM and SARM of Rv0989c leads to increased production of the longer 15-carbon farnesyl diphosphate (FPP), while substitution of Arg for the corresponding Asp in Rv0562 leads to increased release of shorter products, both FPP and GPP. Accordingly, while the primary role of the FARM and SARM is known to be chelation of the divalent magnesium ion co-factors that assist substrate binding and catalysis, the Arg substitutions found in Rv0989c seem to provide a novel means by which product chain length is moderated, at least in these M. tuberculosis IDSs.